On Friday, March 21st, in keeping with the World Day of Water, we had a community celebration at the Provincial House.
When everything seems dead, frozen, locked up around us… when our very breathing seems to stop, how good it is to hear the sound of the spring, the murmur of peaceful, flowing water. How good it is to feel this freshness of life caressing our ears. This is how we entered into prayer.
Listening and being carried away
Thanks to our imagination, whether near a river or a fountain, this first exercise reminded us of one of the orientations of our community project and helped us enter into the plan suggested for the celebration of the “World Day of Water.”
Recalling and accepting to be converted
This is also what was suggested to us. Remembering the charm of a certain era that gave life to our personal history, each one recalled a few souvenirs. “Water reminds me of my childhood; my sister and I used to go to the well to return home courageously with the little water that remained at the bottom of the bucket after frolicking in the meadow.” “Water meant a good swim in the neighborhood pond where each one could let off steam at one’s ease. Today, pollution demands multiple precautions and many of us are reluctant to plunge into the pond.” “And in Africa, so many images come to mind: days without rain, without a shower, without cleaning… While cooking one had to be creative to avoid wasting and contamination.” Yes, even after Lent, we should pursue our conversion and try together to find ways and means to use this precious element in a responsible manner.
Searching deeply within ourselves in order to give meaning to daily, ordinary gestures
Perhaps we could begin by being attentive to those spiritual movements which could give rise to conversion? Our “Sister Water”! If Saint Francis used this term, it was because he was aware that a “cosmic brotherhood” unites us to the Elements. These elements are close to us; they speak to us of the Creator and link us to the only true Life – that of the earth on which we stand and that of heaven so wonderfully symbolized by water and the light of baptism.
This brief one-night celebration may appear insignificant to those who look at us from the height of their thoughtlessness… Nevertheless, it prompts us to respect and solidarity, to coherence and thanksgiving; it already invites us to the Easter morning.
“A spring of Living water, a stream has gushed forth!
From one abyss to another an echo resounds:
It is a song of praise to the Lord of the living!
A spring of Living water, a stream has gushed forth!
Look to the East, the Rising Sun,
It is the Body of the Lord, streaming with magnificence!
A Spring of Living water, a stream has gushed forth!
On the steps of the temple, an overflowing torrent!
It irrigates the earth, it drenches the universe!
A spring of Living water, a stream has gushed forth
Whosoever plunges in this water
will be reborn from above!
It’s the spirit of the Lord, the Living One, The Saviour!”
Anne Thirion fj, Rennes, France