Ease and Creativity
Facilità e creatività
We are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the death of Maria Domenica Mazzarello, the strong woman
who had the natural gift of a determined, willful, tenacious character. For her, difficulties were
not a deterrent or impediment to go beyond. Rather, they provoked the contrary reaction. In the face
of the unforeseen and even of failure, her inner energies were multiplied to the point of leading her
to unexpected surprising, creative goals. All in 44 years of life!
We certainly cannot say that Don Bosco had a linear, easy existence. His life was more a journey through
obstacles than a walk on a level path. We know the story, studded from his first years by difficulties,
lack of understanding and bitter surprises. Perhaps we would not have had his genius for education,
nor the father of so many poor young people, nor the founder of a great religious family and of extraordinary
works, if he would not have had the experience of that harshness of life that frequently accompanies
so many human events.
In 1940, at 25 years of age, Frère Roger Shultz was looking for a house where he could gather
those who needed to be sheltered because of a war, and who would one day become a community. In his
seeking he discovered a beautiful dwelling with an ample farmland in Frangy, Savoy. The conditions
for acquiring the property were advantageous. He thought about it at length. Finally, he noted: That
place seemed to be too comfortable. A thought was rooted in me: frequently, ease does not lead to creativity”.
After a short time, he discovered a little village that was very poor, lacking in any structure, but
was attached to a Romanesque style church. It was called Taizé. He understood that it was there
that he should stay, and, against the counsel of many, he did so. We all know what Taizé has
We FMA want to be women of the Gospel and to continue to travel the paths of Jesus of Nazareth, of
Mary, His mother who shared deeply in His continual pilgrimage.
The paths traveled by our saints.
We are called to follow the Master more closely, living the Beatitudes
of the Kingdom radically (Const. 10). At no time, but even more today, this has not an easy way. Coherence
between gifts received place us against the current, in situations of minority and solitude.
We deal with facing a widespread challenge, in confronting an idol that is especially fascinating for
the young people and that is well described by an educator-writer, Marco Lodoli: For too long we have
lived under the influence of a divinity that is as debilitating as it is cruel, a little bird that
sings sweetly, but has a beak that is so subtle and ferocious that it eats the brain. Ease is the goddess
that devours our thoughts, and as a consequence, our whole life”.
Recent Church documents guide consecrated souls in particular to offer today a witness to a life fraught
with evangelical transparency, of an austere and temporary existence in a society that has lost its
horizons and the measure of possessing; of evangelical fraternity in a world defiled by violence, of
the service of charity toward those in need of affection and solidarity, of missionary enthusiasm that
destroys the fetish of one’s own survival according to the proud standards of the past.
We know from experience that young people remain fascinated by this type of witness.
It is the gift that we can give to them.