Can I tell you a quick story?
I walked into the Church after my Poustinia (24 hours spent in prayer at a hermitage), and saw many people talking: Russian kids, American missionaries, young adults, and adults all talking and laughing and playing games. Two teenage Russian boys showed up when everyone else was leaving--they were about three hours late. But we were overjoyed to see them and all the guys had some food and then watched a movie. It was a community, a family.
The Russian youth here in Magadan are drawn into our family of faith like a magnet. The words of Christ ring in my heart, “Whatever you did to the least of these, you did it to me” (Matthew 25). My call to Russia is a call to console the Heart of Jesus who is suffering in the poor and broken. When we console these youth, we console Christ.
During dinner, the team sometimes reads Redemptoris Missio by Pope Saint John Paul II, and we were recently reminded that any fruit we experience on mission is due to the army of prayer warriors back home. Here is a short passage from the chapter on Cooperation in Missionary Activity.
“All Christians share responsibility for missionary activity...They pray for the missions and missionary vocations. They help missionaries and follow their work with interest...Among the forms of sharing, first place goes to spiritual cooperation through prayer, sacrifice and the witness of Christian life...Prayer needs to be accompanied by sacrifice...The sacrifice of missionaries should be shared and accompanied by the sacrifices of all the faithful.” (Ch. VII)
Father Michael told us today that we cannot change anyone’s heart, that is something only Christ can do. All we can do is throw seeds and then water them with prayer. In this last week of mission, we are focusing on watering the seeds that have been thrown. We have re-doubled our prayer efforts. In few days, we are doing an all-night vigil before the Blessed Sacrament as well as starting another novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots.
Please join us in this final radical push to water the seeds that have been thrown.
Joseph Rooney and the Mission to Magadan Team