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Presentation Sisters

UNION OF SISTERS OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

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Meeting of the Friends of Nano in Jhelum, Pakistan

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05/12/2017

The retreat was formally started with Morning Prayer followed by the readings from the Holy Bible and hymns. After the prayer, Sr Rehana Mengha, the pioneer of the Friends of Nano in Pakistan, was warmly invited to lead the session. She briefly explained the history of Nano Nagle. Sr Rehana elaborated various readings from the Holy Bible and fantastically co-related the mission of Lord Jesus and that of Nano Nagle. Nano had staunch belief that Jesus calls and sends us into the world to bear fruit that will last. Nano’s life is the living example of the fruit of the spirit. She had great love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Sr Rehana motivated the Friends of Nano to bear and practice the same values. 

While explaining the reading from the Gospel of Luke 4:14-22, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me’, Sr Rehana emphasized the verbs in Jesus’ mission: bring, proclaim, free, announce. They are verbs at the service of life and love; verbs that show openness to the spirit. Our Lady of the Lantern declared Jesus’ mission as her own mission.

Rev Fr Tomas, a Columbian Priest, conducted the next session. Fr Tomas high-lighted the significance of seeking God’s will through ‘Discernment and Contemplation’. He explained that retreat means being with the Lord and silence – to shut out external activities and concentrate and contemplate to meet our Lord. And once we are really in touch with God, no matter how much rush is around it doesn’t bother us at all and we cannot hear anything except our own internal voice and the voice of our beloved who is God Himself. Fr Tomas quoted Saint Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

Fr Tomas taught that through contemplation we grow in our relationship with God. We learn to live out the first commandment; ‘To love with all our heart, soul and strength’. Fr Tomas helped the participants learn the secret of silent contemplation and have a personal relationship with God. This is where we take the time to commune with God – heart to heart and spirit to spirit. He stressed that it doesn’t happen by chance but we must give time for this and understand its value in our spiritual and personal growth. 

Further, he said, if the only prayer we pray is ‘thankfulness’, it’s enough. The following chapters from the Gospel were read and meditated upon,with a different reading for each day.

Luke 1:39-55 Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth

Luke 15:11-32 The Prodigal Son

Luke 24:13-35 The Road to Emmaus

The members enthusiastically shared their feelings and new experiences they had while contemplating upon the read Gospel. ‘Maranta’ which means ‘O Lord come’ was another method of contemplation taught by Fr Tomas in which one has to close their eyes, feel themselves from head to toe and feel the presence of God within himself, while breathing in and breathing out only saying ma-ra-na-ta in heart for about 10 minutes.

Sr Norris led the morning prayers, showed Nano’s documentary and various thought provoking songs to inculate the spirit of selfless service. The participants reflected upon them and shared their thoughts. 

There was a discussion on ‘Discerning Anew the Direction for the Friends of Nano into the future’. 

The participants were asked to write down the ‘Action Plans’ they are going to implement in their own respective areas.

Every evening Holy Mass was celebrated and during the day and we had Holy Hour as well to deepen our relationship with the Lord. As Nano often pondered upon Jesus in the Eucharist, she drew strength from being with the Lord each day. Nano’s life is the beacon of light for the whole world.

The story has no ending, it is still being written and we are the living energy of Nano today. 

Submitted by: Mehreen Chaman, Jehlum 

Categories: Pakistan, Friends of Nano