Id-Dar tal-Providenza, Siġġiewi
12th January 2018
Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, 274, says “if I succeed in helping at least one person in getting a better life, this is already enough to justify my gift of life.” Today we are celebrating 50 years during which the Sisters of Charity did not do this once or with just one person but every day, all the time with the residents of this dear home. We therefore say a big thank you to God for this service of 50 years.
Thanks also to you, dear Sisters of Charity -- who this year will have been 150 years in Malta -- for accepting Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi’s invitation 50 years ago and recognised the service at Dar tal-Providenza as the best way to live your vocation as taught to you by St Jeanne Antide Thouret. A special thanks to the 42 Sisters who gave their service here for the past 50 years. Every Sister is a story in its own right, an act of generosity, and for this we should be grateful. You made a living experience of the words of St Paul in his letter to the Romans: “We know that God works hand in hand with those who love him, with those called according to His providence, for their own good.”
That is why we emphasize that life is to be safeguarded always from the first moment of conception, when it is the smallest, when it is totally dependent on someone else, but it is a human life till its natural end when sometimes it also means dependence. If someone makes an exception, the first one to suffer is he or she who is dependant on someone else, as are the residents of this Home; but we hold as precious the dignity of every person and, on Christ's example, we give special attention to everyone who needs it. Every person deserves our love and attention, and the more the obstacles there are, the more it merits help to overcome the obstacles. Jesus teaches us to live through this with joy. There is this note in the excerpt we heard from the Prophet Isaiah that explains the joy of the ministry of commiseration, help and liberation. It is the joy of the gospel, the joy that is contagious and creates an atmosphere so beautiful even during those critical moments in life.
And Jesus teaches us to live the service with full love. When we live our vocation with immense love, we are already choosing that which is the strongest and best that we can have in life. And it would be the best preparation for the end of our walk on earth as St John of the Cross says : “In the twilight of our life we will be judged by how much we loved.”
Today is not only an occasion to look back with gratitude and of celebration of our life today but also a look forward with courage. We pray that Christ continues to be our hope, trust, haven, fortress, rock and the source of all our actions. I invite you to be inspired by St Jeanne Antide Thouret, your foundress saint of immense charity as we prayed at the beginning of the mass: “Fill our hearts, oh Lord, with the zeal of love with which you filled the heart of St Jeanne Antide so that our actions continue to stoke the fire that Christ brought to the world.”
Mgr Joe Galea Curmi
Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Malta