Show yourself at all times glad and joyful, for almighty God loves a cheerful giver.
Part 3 Conclusion
This is the third part of an exploration of the way of Felicity as Mary Ward would have understood it and lived it. This week I would like to take you right to the heart of it all for Mary Ward. “Go close to Him”, she said. For Mary Ward, her relationship with God was the source and summit of everything she was and did. “I saw there was no other help and no other comfort for me than to go close to HIM. That I did and HE was there to help me”, she wrote.
To enter a little more deeply into what that relationship may be, what it asks of us and how it may transform us, I am going to draw on another beautiful, profound and yet simple story, The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. The little prince, who came from Asteroid B – 612, appeared in the Sahara desert, much to the amazement of the author, Saint-Exupery, who was attempting to repair his aircraft which had crashed there. Engrossed in his repairs, far from anyone and anything, he was startled by a little voice, with a curios request: “Please, draw me a sheep”. And so it was that the author met this enchanting little person of great wisdom and heard all about the little prince’s travels, his encounters with many strange and interesting people and facts on this planet called Earth, his search for friends and of course little snippets about his life on his own tiny planet. The part I want to draw on is the little prince’s encounter with the fox. It is a story told with such naivete and simplicity, yet full of wisdom, and as you read it I invite you to become aware of the transforming power of relationship, because it is relationship that is at the heart of Mary Ward’s way of Felicity.
There are some beautiful images in this story: the fox preparing his heart as the meeting time draws near, the anticipation and then the time together, making one day different from all the others, finding beauty and interest in the wheat fields because they remind him of the colour of the little prince’s hair, and above all, that lovely image of just watching each other, taming each other. What we see here is the transformation that relationship brings. In this little story we see joy, excitement, trust, open-heartedness – and all those things come from a lived relationship which colours the world.
Ms Kerry McCullough
Dean of Mission