The love, joy and welcome for others that the sisters
live and bear in their hearts, shines more brightly than the pulsing red lights
atop a nearby cellular telephone tower dominating the night sky.
nearby streets who often come to visit the sisters and people who come to join
them for morning or evening prayer know the same experience of welcome that was
offered to us.
In the dusty and rutted streets of one of Managua's poor barrios, we encounter
a place of Gospel welcome where there is room for each of us beyond the limits
of physical space and practical considerations.
Hospitality here is a privilege, not a problem.
Sisters Fidelina, Yerenia, Carolina
Inside this little house, there is an atmosphere of deep peace and quiet.
There is the time of quiet prayer, when each sister finds a little space to be
There is the time of common prayer, when the neighbors and especially the
little children flock to join them.
And there is time for the sisters to study and sing and dance together.
And all around, there is so much happening! This neighborhood is buzzing with
activity, and the sisters are a vital part of it.
The presence of the sisters in Managua raises for us a question.
What does it take to be fully there with enthusiasm and life?
What does it take not to wander off and to escape the present moment, the present place?
Sisters Fidelina and Matilde
Looking at the life of the sisters in the barrio, it is clear that they could have chosen to live elsewhere, outside the barrio.
Making solar ovens, Suni Solar
Or they could choose to spend time at the nearby newly constructed mall — a place where wishful consumers can hang out even if they don't have the money to do the consuming.
Or they could have a television to fill in the quiet spaces and to blot out the noise of the neighborhood.
But they choose to be living in the neighborhood, to be present there.
What kind of courage does it take?
It doesn't come through as rigidity or stubbornness, or just will power -- is it something that comes from the 'coeur,' the heart? Is it something that comes from fidelity, cultivated trust?
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