We have become “silent admirers” of who we are. Perhaps we have become complacent with who we are and what we have done. In re-routing ourselves to become aware of our Founding Experience, we see the gap created for lack of “Story-Telling, Narration and Interpretation” of who we are. Our Stories remained well documented and kept intact, forgetting perhaps the essential element of “Speaking” about it to make ourselves known. The events, the testimonies, the lived experiences of the Family of PBN are numerous. They need to be narrated for people to hear, to admire and to believe in the core message the narration aims to interpret for the world today. The interpretation presumes a “Holy Family Cultural Memory” of the life and events of the Family of PBN, rich in content and reality.
We need to know and we need to let the people know how things really happened – beginning from the Year 1820 up to the present. The need for us to illuminate the Past – our Sacred History – to the last detail to exhibit to the world the spiritual heritage left behind as Legacy by Venerable Pierre Bienvenu Noailles in the Story of the Charism of the Holy Family of Bordeaux. It is indispensable that the documentation made so far of the History of the Holy Family of Bordeaux to reach the people in the four corners of the world in its originality by “Story-Telling”. The people need to see before their eyes and hear the time, people and events that shaped the Foundation of the Holy Family.
The urgent need for us now is to make the Historical facts of our Holy Family Story to be narrated and interpreted. For this sacred task, we are to become the “Interpretive Family” and our Communities to become “Narrative Communities” – recalling, relishing, admiring and appreciating our History, making it known to our own Members especially the Young Members and others who desire to form part of our Family. The need for us to become an interpretive Community – a Community that again and again renews and purifies its memory. We are challenged to look back at our own past, to examine it critically and try to interpret the present in the light of the Emerging World View. Only in this way we can take the next step into the future. This revision will profoundly change our Holy Family Way of Life to be authentic and witnessing.
Faithful interpretation of our History presumes the PBN Family to be the interpretive Community. It is about perceiving the wonderful deeds of God performed from the birth of the Family of PBN for itself, to the people and to the world. Such perception and narration is impossible without an interpretative grasp grounded in Faith. It is only possible when we as a Family come together as trusting Communities, to re-live and reminisce the sacred legacy left to us by our Venerable Founder PBN; The JESUS of the Holy Family of the Miraculous Benediction is our powerful Story to be narrated over and over again for its pure reality and authenticity. The understanding of the Miraculous Benediction demands the Foundation that is the Family of PBN – that whenever we speak, recall and reminisce the Miraculous Benediction, we are interpreting the reality of the vibrant Presence of Jesus that surrounds and remains with us until now. If we do not hold on to the interpretive tradition and search constantly for its genuine realm of experience, we run the risk of the image of the Jesus of the Miraculous Benediction – the God and God Alone “I am Who I am” disintegrate before us. Our narration of the genuine apparition of Jesus need to become a matter of “taste and see” the founding experience of the Association of the Holy Family determined by its Members’ own lived experiences.
We are called to become the Narrative Family like that of the Early Christian Communities who kept on sharing how God acted among them in ever new ways. As a narrative Community, the Early Christians became the Community of interpretation – a Community that again and again renewed, cherished, remembered and spread the good news that Jesus is alive among them.
The Bicentenary Celebration is a strong invitation and a challenge for us to look back at our own rich and sacred past, to examine our present way of life critically and to courageously step forward into the future with hope. This revision will profoundly change our outlook and compel us to refresh our memory so that we learn how to narrate the Blessings of the Beginnings, the exemplary life of our Founder and our Early Mothers, the missionary expansions and how the Charism of our Founder is relevant for today’s rapidly changing World. The need for us to become ‘Public” by our Story-telling of the Association of the Holy Family of Bordeaux. It is time that we compensate for the long silence that created the gap and pushed us to recline.
More story-telling among ourselves will inflame and enkindle our fervor to narrate our story to the young and old alike. It will create links and will add to the number of story-tellers. It will begin to circulate and more will be inspired to listen and to become story-tellers in return. We need to go “Viral” by narration, interpretation, and expansion. There can be no perception of reality without an interpretive Model. The diversity that is present among us is a great force for the Narration of our sacred History to become colorful, appealing and trust-worthy.
We have been faithful “Caretakers” of our Charism for almost 200 years. The challenge now is to let our Charism to flow through and cross boundaries and be heard, experienced and lived by the millions around the world. The JESUS of the Holy Family in the Miraculous Benediction need to be given publicity at all cost. The “I AM WHO I AM” IS BECKONING US.
GOD ALONE SUFFICES!
Sr. Ida Joseph