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       Yeast so fragile

The most recent visit to Papua New Guinea allowed us to rediscover how our sisters excel in the art of making bread. If by a rather unlikely coincidence they did open up a bakery, its name would naturally be "Daily Bread"… Without a doubt, one would find a great variety of delicious breads and pastries, and the rush of clients would be unstoppable.

None the less, in order for these delicious breads to succeed, the recipe asks that the yeast be mixed with water of the right temperature. If the water is too cold the yeast will be destroyed. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die in the same way. Some of our young sisters, "young apprentices", have had this unfortunate experience. Therefore, you must have lukewarm water that allows the yeast to take effect, helped by a bit of salt, and eventually a pinch of sugar.

This culinary fact helps us understand how the charism, like yeast in the dough, is prepared so that it can develop in its given environment. Some congregations flourish in particular surroundings while others dry up in other contexts. Not all charisms are made for all milieus. One has to therefore discover and discern where our charism "of tenderness and mercy lived in humility and simplicity" gives the best of itself and makes the dough rise. What is its "lukewarm water" that allows it to give the best of itself, with a bit of salt and a pinch of sugar ?

It seems that there is an "ecosystem" for each charism, an environment that allows for its development. The art of discernment consists in discovering, in our diverse societies, those places that are awaiting the charism. It is this diversity of charisms that we celebrate February 2nd on the feast of Consecrated Life. May this day be lived in thanksgiving for the gift that God has given to the Church for the world, like well worked yeast making all of the dough rise.

Sr. Anne Chapell, Angelica n°42 - February 2018

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