March 22, World Water Day: The well and living source of our Charism

on 22 Mar, 2021

Cali (Colombia), 03/22/2021, Sr. Elsa Myriam Londoño Valencia, JPIC Delegate of the Province of Manizales.- The cries of history resound differently in our world today. The pandemic has made us aware of our responsibility to care for our common home and to be more concerned about life.

The World Water Development Report of the United Nations, on Water and Climate Change, 2020 states: "In the world there are currently 2.2 billion people deprived of access to safe drinking water and another 4.2 billion lacking safe sanitation systems", a reality that worries us, of concern and invites us to live relationships of fraternity and care for our common home.

A close look at our history permits us to recall the memory of Marie Poussepin and her experience of a journey to Sainville, during the winter of 1696. An inspiring step that revealed her enthusiasm for a new foundation. Deeply moved by misery, sickness and ignorance, she left her home town filled with the service of charity making herself completely available. Once again, it was the circumstances that showed her the way forward.

The need for water in the new community of Sainville motivated Marie Poussepin with a creative response: she had a well built. "It was in the main courtyard, with a door facing the street. There was no aqueduct. So those who did not have water in the village could draw it free of charge at the house. The main door was left open to the courtyard, where they could also enter and receive comfort for their pains and spiritual advice from Marie Poussepin. Thus, they had water to drink and living water for the soul" ("The Well of Sainville", Sr. Beatriz Alvarez).

Today, we read her gesture as a pact of love that she lives with the earth and humanity; earth that provides water for humanity and love for the people who, thirsty for life, are ready to drink from the sacred water from the fountains of charity.

We need to create spaces in our history today, to share the pains of humanity that thirst for life, dwell and walk on the earth on bare foot like Moses and, from this encounter, create relationships of care and reverence that transform the degrading situations with quality of life. Thus, to enter like Marie Poussepin into the world of gift and grace, of gratuitousness and creativity.

The Dominican charism of our foundress is a well from which flows the fountain of charity, lived in the heart of the world, with all the richness and strength of a life in community.