The Dynamic of Intercultural Ministry
by Sr. Marita Beumer
The following are excerpts from a larger reflection from Precious Blood Spirituality: A Contemporary Perspective.
Adoration always was an indispensable characteristic of our spirituality. From the beginning, meeting the needs of the time was a response to adoration. The root of adoration as a continuation of the celebration of the Eucharist was to be lived out in service. Maria Anna's desire that "not one drop of Jesus Precious Blood be shed in vain" (Not With Silver or Gold) and St. Gaspar's fire that "I would like to have a thousand tongues to draw every heart tenderly to it, and I wish that my soul would be totally penetrated with it (Letter 3785) challenged me in my early years of ministry and has developed and deepened during the ensuing years.
Being blessed with an awareness of diversity, my prayer was united with Jesus' prayer during the Last Supper, "...so that they may all be one, as you, Father are in me and I in you, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:21). After a few years in Chile, there was the political problem with the buildup of hatred, bigotry and discrimination.... Reconciliation became our challenge.
[Reconciliation] has to begin with people, empowering each person to know and own his or her own dignity, respect and responsibility. This grassroots method demands accepting people as they are.
The acceptance of our Precious Blood charism was broadening and challenging me to realize that each person is precious, and Jesus shed His Precious Blood for everyone! During her lifetime, the hospitality that Maria Anna Brunner offered the townspeople was received and honored because she accepted them. When we are with people of another culture, we can let ourselves feel "as strangers in the strange land" or we can be hospitable and accommodating, adapting ourselves to the people and situations.
It also strengthened my call as a Sister of the Precious Blood to be an instrument of empowerment, unity and a reconciling presence. I remember that the power of the Precious Blood can make it possible to say, "we will do something." Through this mission experience I found a new dimension of my Precious Blood spirituality as "mediating the divine compassion to the world," as stated in Our Way of Life.