Walking the big Pilgrimage

by Sr Juliana Baldinger

The word “charity” appears over and over again in our founder Théodore’s vocabulary.

He writes in one of his letters of 1842: “Think more of others than of yourself… and you will find God.” These words ask me to find God in all people and all things.

I left with my Bible in my backpack towards Jerusalem

Here I would like to go back to the beginning of my religious life story. My call began like Abram’s call: “Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s house for a country which I shall show you!” (Gen 12:1) As to Abraham so to me too, God said: “Go, go and read the Bible, the love letter for you.”

The Bible became my homeland

As Abram left, so did I in order to find the promise, the call of God in my life. And so I left for Jerusalem with my Bible in my backpack. As Abraham gave up his certainties, I gave up my certainties. As Abraham gave up his country and was promised another homeland, so did I, and the Bible became my homeland. I began to know that only when we set out, when we begin to walk the big Pilgrimage, can the promises God gives be fulfilled.

Find God in all people and all things

Following this call, I came to the Ecce Homo Convent in Jerusalem where, some years later, my journey began, to serve God in the Congregation of Notre Dame de Sion. During the time of my formation for religious life I heard another voice telling me “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) This became my mission statement, by which I live today.

And with Psalm 46:10 I can say: “Be still and know that I am God”, which makes me a lover of Centring Prayer, a form of silent prayer that moves beyond conversation to communion.

Read the story in German