Persistence and Prayer – Your Catholic Weekly Reflection from CMMB
“Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” —Luke 18:1
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gives us the first of two parables on prayer. He urges his disciples to pray and not lose heart, for God hears and answers all prayers. We hear the story of the widow who relentlessly pleaded for a just decision from a dishonest judge until he finally gave in and granted her request. Jesus wants us to be just as persistent with our prayers. Even when it seems like we are not being heard, God is still at work. If God delays answering our prayers, he is only giving us the opportunity to practice persistence, connect with him more often, and deepen our faith.
We at CMMB are blessed to witness the incredible examples of faith in action set by the missionary sisters who partner with us around the world. These faithful partners are at the heart of what we do. They inspire our global community by their commitment and dedication to the marginalized. They truly go and stay where few are willing to work.
The Sisters we work with are highly skilled leaders, health professionals, educators, and friends. They remind us of our mission every day, as they work selflessly to deliver locally sustainable, quality health solutions to women, children, and their communities.
Today we share the story of Sister Teresa. She is a member of the Sisters of Bon Secours, who date back to nineteenth-century France and are dedicated to providing “Good Help to Those in Need.” In 1966, the Sisters established a Catholic mission in Peru to expand the work they do to alleviate human suffering and bring hope to the poor.
Sister Teresa works on CMMB’s First 1000 Days Project, which aims to combat the high prevalence of anemia among pregnant mothers and children in Peru. The program’s focus is on improving the well-being of families by helping them adopt healthy practices, maintain sanitary environments, and follow proper nutrition. Sister Teresa fulfills an often overlooked but absolutely crucial role in this project: psycho-social support.
In the New Jerusalem district where we work, family violence—including verbal, physical and sexual assaults—are tragically commonplace events. Unfortunately, there are nearly no safe houses or shelters for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Sister Teresa offers psychological and spiritual support to women affected by violence and mistreatment, and also facilitates couples’ counseling and healthy communication techniques. CMMB volunteer Brynn Macaulay served alongside her in Trujillo, and shared her experience with us.
“Sister Teresa spends her days listening to the kinds of stories that would drain most people’s emotional reserves, and yet, she still finds time to care for her CMMB teammates and her fellow Sisters. If there is an example of persistence, acceptance, listening, and kindness in the world, Sister Teresa is it.
What I love most about Sister Teresa is her infectious love for everyone. She has this abundant kindness to her, this desire to really know people—and she accepts them, no matter what. One feels she can be herself, reveal her darkest secrets, and know that she will be safe around her.”
“Sister Teresa makes it her mission to care for and validate other people’s feelings. She is a daily example of the transformational power of listening, and proof that the greatest gift we can offer one another is our undivided attention.” —CMMB volunteer Brynn Macaulay
Sister Teresa’s unwavering faith guides her through the challenges she faces in caring for a vulnerable community in the slums of Peru. Whenever we feel defeated and wanting to give up, let us remember that God doesn’t want us to struggle through life alone. He wants us to reach out to him through prayer and trust in his almighty wisdom. May we be grateful for those opportunities we are given to pray and move closer to God.
In grace and peace,
CMMB/Healthier Lives Worldwide