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2nd Feb 2023 - A Reflection from Sr. Assumpta

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Though I pass through a gloomy valley I fear no harm,

Beside me your rod and your staff

Are there to hearten me.

Psalm 25

February is a month of Feasts related to the heart like Valentine's Day with many "I LOVE YOU" messages marked and symbolised by little red hearts. It is also a month of COURAGE. The winter is gradually disappearing, and one wakes up to more light in the sky. Courage is a wonderful gift of the human spirit, and we are all aware of people known to us who display this gift in an admirable manner.

We all know people who have the confidence to face the winter in their daily lives. Until we are put to the test, we do not know what we are capable of. We can all think of people who display remarkable courage in the daily effort of caring for a handicapped or retarded child or the struggle to make ends meet in these current financial difficulties.

In the privileged ministry of a Hospital Chaplain, I am so often humbled by the presence of people who travel long distances to get challenging cancer treatment without a complaint. Courage does not mean grinning and bearing it as though it was an endurance test. Courage means relying on the presence of God in our daily lives believing that we are in His Hands and that He loves and cares for us no matter the circumstances. Courage means never giving up but believing in the Divine Power that is deep within our inner spirit. Courage is not something that we learn from a textbook but is a virtue we grow into from the opportunities of our daily lives. Courage enables us to accept what cannot be changed and to work at what needs to be changed. Everything takes time and the saying goes ‘ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY’. Until the day we die we will be dealing with unfinished business in our daily lives. Failure is not a sin, but it gives us the opportunity to take a long look at ourselves and not to be afraid of taking a risk while always relying on the Providence of God to support us all the day long.

When I lived in Rome and again in Nairobi, I had two very near death experiences both were terrorists attacks The event in Rome was at Fiumicino Airport at the El Al Desk. In Nairobi it was an attack from Al Shibab; a terrorist organization who attacked the car I was in with another Sister. By nature, I would not claim to be a very courageous person, but I remember very clearly on both occasions a strong sense of the presence of God and an overwhelming inner peace that God was near so I should have no fear. That is amazing because I would normally run out of a room if I saw a mouse For me it was proof that Courage is a God given gift and it is there for us to claim when the going is uncertain, and God is the only One we can rely on. In my ministry I know people who have huge family troubles but through the power of Prayer they have the courage to get up every morning and face the day putting their hand into the Hand of God.

During this month of February let us look into our daily lives and if possible, set aside some short time for solitude to become aware of the presence of God in our lives and acknowledge that people are more important than material things.


It is in God alone we get our strength and that comes to us very often through the encouragement and kindness of other human beings. God makes His will known to us through other people.

ST BRIDGET - The Feast of St Bridget of Ireland is celebrated on the 1st of February; little is known about her. Bridget was the child of a Noble Father and a Slave Mother. Her father sold her and her mother to a Druid whom Bridget converted to Christianity. Later she was reconciled with her father who tried to marry her off, but she resisted and became a nun.



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