Mary Ward wanted her companions to engage directly with society and to do so with a spirit of “freedom, justice and sincerity”
She encouraged her followers to take risks and to forge new paths, but to be wise and discerning in the choices they made. By “referring all things to God” they would recognise where the needs were greatest.
Finding God in all things and all things in God was the keynote of their way of life. For St Ignatius and for Mary Ward, daily life, the ordinary way of doing things, was experienced as the place to encounter God.
To do ordinary things well; to act in freedom rather than in fear; to nurture a cheerful disposition; to work for justice and to seek God in all things, describes in part, the inspiration of Mary Ward and the spirit which she hoped would characterise her followers
This pattern is central to our identity. Wherever we are we seek to keep God before our eyes, acting justly in loving service for the common good.
Photos from top:
Portrait of Mary Ward from The Painted Life of Mary Ward series.
Nguyen Thi Vi ibvm working in a clinic in Vietnam.