Stories that save lives

January 29, 2015 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

W2W by Pia

by Jackie Pau, Sunday 25th January 2015

The Bible is full of stories. Stories of families that come together that become stories of nations. They are also stories of God, of salvation. Even today this holds true. Stories of my life and yours, our family stories contain stories of God and the seeds of our own salvation, but oftentimes these are obscured, hidden, unless we are alert to them. I must therefore first create space for these instances, for God to speak in and through them to me first, and then I can share fruitfully with others in my life.

Using the story of Mary and Elizabeth, Pia Attard encouraged the women present at the talk in the parish of Saint Teresa last Monday evening how we, as women, can encounter each other and bear spiritual fruit in our lives.


The stories of barrenness in the Bible illustrate the power of God’s awesome and saving grace. Only He can orchestrate the impossible. This was so in the story of Elizabeth, an elderly woman past her child-bearing years and Mary, a young virgin. The impossible happened to these two women, fruitfulness hoped for but never dreamed of; fruitfulness that brought great joy, even as it must have brought fear and the pain of sacrifice.

Drawing on the examples of Elizabeth and Mary, women who went through their fair share of adversity and who in saying yes to God also said yes to uncertainty and loss in their lives, what can we learn from them?

We can learn to trust in God, knowing that our spiritual lives will always imply a lack of control. We can learn that being out of control is not a bad thing for in surrendering control to God, while a scary prospect, can be a liberating one. It can free us for becoming over-anxious and even hopeless when we simply trust God.

As Pia pointed out, Mary is the icon for creating empty space for God. She listened and obeyed. She embraced the revelation of God wholeheartedly even as she must have had many questions and inner struggles within her. She pondered in the sweeping plains of her heart and allowed God to plant a fecund garden brimming with beauty.

If we include this discipline of creating space for God in our lives, we too can conjure space for others and bless them. As contemplatives, we will recognize the hidden presence of God in each other’s stories when we come together for we are able to see things essentially. Even when others around us are less than civil and rub us the wrong way, we can still decipher their intrinsic beauty, see beyond the surface of things and treat them with compassion, mustering the necessary patience, wisdom and creativity to draw out their inner beauty.  

Both Mary and Elizabeth had the gift of hospitality. They carried each other in their hearts and prayers, and when they met, they affirmed and edified each other in the life stories they shared with the other. Each woman uncovered the hidden presence of God to the other. We are unable to see everything about ourselves and our lives with clarity so we need others to reveal home truths to us, truths that bless us.

From Mary we can also learn how to express gratitude as she did in the Magnificat. The lowliness she shared with Elizabeth was her vulnerability. When we open to each other our imperfections and brokenness, we exercise a mutuality where in giving, we receive, and in receiving, we give.

Ultimately, when we give ourselves as a gift to others, there in our life stories will God reside, and there will we be saved. Our stories will in turn have the power to save others. As women, we have a gathering, embracing intuition which when we give it full reign with other women, we will become blessed among women and pass this blessedness on and on. And so it goes. So call your good girlfriend today and share life.

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Entry filed under: Women.


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