DONKEY SPIRITUALITY-HE BECAME THE DONKEY FOR ME: ARTICLE FROM DR (SR.) MUDITA SODDER, RSCJ;

Another Article from Dr (Sr) Mudita Sodder RSCJ; on the occassion of HOLY WEEK. We wish to remind our readers, her article, MOTHER OF PERPECTUAL SUCCOUR :  THE MAHIM PHENOMENON is highly rated article in term of views.

GREG

Our Lady of Sorrows.jpg 2

DONKEY SPIRITUALITY-HE BECAME THE DONKEY FOR ME

Way back in 1993 during my long retreat in Rome, just before my Final Vows; grace alone urged me to unravel the truth. I discovered that God is love and love is truth. Therefore God is truth, beauty in nature is truth, I am truth and each of us is truth. This painful truth shook me out of many of my complacencies. Why was I willing to pay the price, except for the Lord? Aware of my powerlessness and insufficiency, I waited with open hands and bated breath, begging the Lord to take something from my cupped hands and fill it anew. Over the weeks, a new school of the heart evolved which I called my “DONKEY SPIRITUALITY.”

The donkey symbolised for me stubbornness, stupidity, foolishness, one that needed to be led. Hailing from a Goan Chardo family, with an independent mind and a liberal upbringing, I was proud and stubborn, but the donkey was never something I wanted to be. The Holy Spirit was active and for the first time in my life, I identified myself with the donkey in the Nativity scene. It slowly dawned on me that the donkey had a very special role in the whole Incarnation Story. The Lord had precise need of the donkey all through his life. It was the means of transport and communication for the Holy Family and a living example for his teaching and preaching.

During Mary’s pregnancy, in all the sojourns from Nazareth to Bethlehem, then to Egypt and from there to Israel and back to Nazareth, the Lord had need of the donkey. The donkey was privileged to live in the house of the Lord and listen to all the intimate conversations, witness His birth and be of help all through his early childhood and in the family carpentry profession carrying wood and finished goods between the market and the workshop.

The donkey was the sign for the disciples to find the place where our Lord was to have the Last Supper with His disciples and finally the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem was again riding on a donkey. What struck me like lightening in this scene was that Jesus did not merely sit on the donkey but HE BECAME THE DONKEY for me and for each of us. He took upon himself the burdens and sins of the whole world, the kicks and the insults, the humiliations, the false accusations, the stripes and the bruises. What’s more, He accepted it willingly because he knew the why of it all! Love was the answer and obedience to the Father’s Will was His only goal and motto in life on earth-the fruition of the Incarnation Story.

My pride and stubbornness suddenly melted into thin air, as I heard my inner voice say, “I would like to be that donkey if the Lord has need of it.” I pinched myself to check if I was in a reverie. No, I wasn’t. I desired it with all my heart. To see this more clearly, love it more dearly and to follow it more nearly, I was convinced that I had to love Him more effectively. Love transforms everything. He took over. You become what you love and so the acceptance and willingness to be pruned began and continues- a call to greater humility, generosity, forgiveness and compassion.

I painfully became aware of my own sins of pride and selfishness, stubbornness and attachments. The letting go was not easy and is a herculean task even today. However when grace penetrates, nothing is impossible. Slowly but surely, the healing, and the surrender follows.

Heightened awareness, inner harmony and consolation gripped me as I realised – I am loved by God for who I am, as I am. Juliana of Norwich, the 13th century mystic flooded my mind. When she held the hazel nut in her hand she said, “He made it. He loves it. He keeps it.” I felt assured.

20 years down the line, as I look back, I know the Lord still has need of an ass like me. Despite being very difficult at times, my Donkey Spirituality has worked for me and continues to bring me special graces and blessings. Grace alone prodded me to give up worldly values and offer to fill in needs in my Congregation-Sophia College, Mumbai, as Mistress of Discipline, in Jaiharikhal, Garhwal District, to start a new mission and Ashram with Vandana Mataji, in Kazli near Talasari, Maharashtra to work with the Adivasis and now in the Patna Mission, North India!

Today, I am teeming with gratitude and love for all that the Lord has done for me through my Donkey Spirituality. I sometimes struggle with the bumpy journey I am on, but delight in new horizons, discoveries and joys as each new day dawns bringing with it, its own graces and blessings. His words, “My grace is enough for you” is always assuring!

When I shared my Donkey Spirituality with Sr Helen Mc Laughlin our Mother General in 1993, I was greatly pleased and affirmed to learn that my Donkey Spirituality was not new. Mother Vincente handed down her little plastic donkey with the words, “The Lord has precise need of you” to Mother Maria Teresa Castejon and it finally reached Sr Helen. This was not surprising as it has its basis in the Sacred Heart Spirituality (I belong to the Sacred Heart Congregation) – the language of love made effective through humility and generosity. May each of us become the donkey like him, the anawim of Israel, using His new weapon of the cross to build bridges between continents, creating unity and universality and co-creating God’s Kingdom here on earth this Holy Week and always. We are an Easter people and alleluia is our name! HAPPY EASTER 2013!

Dr (Sr) Mudita Sodder RSCJ, 20th March 2013

Sr. Mudita              Sr. Mudita & Donkey

The Heirloom Plastic Donkey that belonged to three Mother Generals                     The Plastic Donkey atop the Cushion gifted to me

Blog: http://www.silentmaj.wordpress.com

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5 Comments

  1. dmelloalex said,

    March 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Sr. Mudita has a fantastic capacity to express. It’s like planting her thoughts straight from her heart into our hearts. Her thinking is clear & crystal. Lord has really blessed her. Her earlier article also touched me very much. I would like to read more & more from her. Thank you Sister Mudita, may the good Lord bless you abundantly and keep you in good health.

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  2. March 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    […] Donkey Spirituality-he Became the Donkey for Me: Article From Dr (sr.) Mudita Sodder, Rscj; (silentmaj.wordpress.com) […]

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