Retreat on January 30-31, 2016 – Blessed Sr. Josephine Nicoli
Starting our retreat and prayer, we sang:
Sister Josephine is always with us,
Everything changes when she is around,
Because joy comes to us instead of sorrow.
Who loves? – Who serves?
Who prays for us? – It’s Sister Josephine!
Then, during the following minutes and hours, words being at the same time questions accompanied us: “What does it mean to be good and merciful, following the example of Sister Josephine? To what extent do we image Sister Josephine?”
A great tally of children and youth of different ages gave a chance to all of us to check and understand, to what extent we are kind and loving, how much patience, love, simplicity and humbleness, faithfulness and attention towards our brothers and sisters beside us we cherish inside, whether we are good at helping them with our open hearts, whether we can infect others with our joy, in one word – Am I as good as bread? – as they used to say of Sister Josephine.
Before the Holy Eucharist, we had a chance to make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive the Holy Communion with a purified heart so that we would have strength and courage to begin to love anew.
We are grateful to our “Sunshines” who arrived for the retreat and filled our house with vigor and light. Our thanks also go to volunteers who helped make that day wonderful for all of us.
As Sister Josephine used to say, “We should seek to fulfill God’s will in everything we do, because it is the best way of sanctification. Only our fulfilling that what God expects from us can sanctify us. Thus, we must live our obedience, faithfulness and joy, for this ensures us real freedom. However, obedience cannot be kept without humbleness.
For this reason, we want to make a sacrifice of ourselves, we want to die for ourselves, because then God will fill us up with Himself. Spiritual life is all about self-sacrifice and complete self-renunciation. It is when God comes to us with His light and grace. He changes our whole life and makes us His instruments. Even the weakest instrument can perform great things, provided it acts with God’s grace.”
I have come to understand that Sr. Josephine was very kind, and she sacrificed her whole life for the sake of children and the youth, and she had scarcely any time for herself.
Sister Josephine Nicoli teaches me to look at my neighbors’ life from different perspective. And in order to understand them better, I should think of them at least a little bit and put myself in their shoes – then it will be much easier for me to love them and help them with my open heart. I hope I will grow in that bit by bit. (Retreat participant)
That retreat was on Blessed Sister Josephine Nicoli. I liked it about the retreat that we were told about Sr. Josephine. She was very kind. People used to say of her that she was “as good as bread and butter”. She served poor children. She was sincere, open-hearted and merciful to everyone. I would like to be just like her – so kind and sincere. I want to help not only poor people, but also those in need of help. There are few people like Sr. Josephine. I learned a lot from that retreat: what kind of person you should be so that people respect and honor you. The way I will treat people, they will treat me.
Thanks a lot to sisters who do all this for us. (Yana Malinnikova, Balta)
Did you consider religious life? Did you consider becoming a missionary?