Hope: faith in the future

The sisters and associates from the Paris region gathered at the Filles du Saint-Esprit reception centre on rue Chaplain for a time of meeting and thanksgiving. We had a few anniversaries to celebrate: Céline and Simonne’s 90th birthdays, Maryvonne’s 80th birthday and my 25th jubilee as a religious.

For this occasion, we invited a great biblical scholar known to many sisters and to the spiritual family of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit: Marie-Noëlle Thabut. She got to know us and asked us who we were and what we did. She introduced herself: she has 3 children and has been widowed since the covid 19 epidemic in 2020. She has a passion for studying the Bible and has been offering Sunday commentaries on Radio Notre Dame for some thirty years. She also writes articles for the magazine Magnificat.

To tell us about the mission, Marie-Noëlle began by playing us a CD about the making of a work of art: a bronze cross. For this work, the workers take part in the creation without immediately seeing the result. They put their trust in the person in charge. In this way, we are called to live in trust for God’s benevolent plan, each of us taking our small part like a hummingbird.
Then Marie-Noëlle asked us which characters from the Bible inspired us. We talked about Abraham, Moses, Judith, Tobias, Jonah, Simeon and Anna, the long chain of people who said: ‘Here I am’. She pointed out that we don’t have to read the Bible literally. Some passages are stories or parables that invite us to reflect. The pinnacle of revelation is Eph 1:9-10: He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to the good purpose he had in Christ, to be carried out when the time was really ripe, namely to bring everything together under the authority of the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth.” This statement keeps us in hope, and Marie-Noëlle tells us that, according to her, hope is faith in the future tense.   She drew our attention to Romans 8:22: “We know that to this day the whole creation yearns and suffers the pains of childbirth”. For her, Acts 5:33-39 shows Gamaliel’s attitude of wisdom: what comes from God stands the test of time, what does not come from God disappears.  This attitude of openness should inspire us to accept everything that changes and moves in society and in the Church. We need to be truly faithful to the times in which we live.

We ended this fascinating exchange with a shared snack and a time of prayer.  Thank you, Marie-Noëlle, for making us vibrate with the richness of the Word of God.

Odile DESIRE, DHS, for the sisters in the Paris region . Published on 7 May 2024