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Rekha M. Chennattu, RA - Superior General
Very dear Sisters and Friends:
I wish you all a Happy Feast of Saint Marie Eugenie!
What does it mean to celebrate the feast of Saint Marie Eugenie this year during the season of Lent coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic? Since the pandemic began in March of 2020, fear has gripped all of us, causing anxiety leading to much suffering. We have been experiencing, in one way or another, storms of uncertainty and helplessness, unemployment and financial crisis, inter-personal relationship issues, and loss of beloved ones. In spite of having vaccines, we still do not know when and how this pandemic is going to end. The impact of new virus variants and the unequal rollout of the Covid – 19 vaccines are also of concern. Moreover, many peoples are contending with natural disasters and we are grappling with shocking events such as human rights violations, massive protests, and political unrest in different parts of the world. Lastly, we have our own personal problems as well as difficulties in our communities or families. In spite of advances in medicine and technology making our life easier and more comfortable, there is no lack of suffering and pain in today's world.
Saint Marie Eugenie and Jesus’s Passion and Death
Saint Marie Eugenie considered “meditation on our Lord’s Passion” to be one of the “most useful” practices for Lent. Such meditations, she believed, help us “have the dispositions of Jesus towards suffering”. She invited us to “learn to see what makes us suffer as a gift from God.” I was pleased to see that with Saint John’s Gospel, Marie Eugenie interpreted Jesus’ passion and death as the “supreme proof of his love” for us. So, the questions for our consideration include: How do we understand Jesus’s passion and death? What does it mean to “have the dispositions of Jesus towards suffering”? What helps us endure pain as God’s gift? How do we bring more grace into our lives in these troubling times of the pandemic? I hope such reflections help us better cope with the many hardships we witness and endure today.
 Marie Eugenie, Meditation on Our Lord’s Passion, 9 March 1873.