Celebrating Sixty Years of Living with a God who Defies Containment

January 18, 2021 |

You take from us the mounds of darkness we bury inside of us

and make from them a night of stars where we can see your Son. 

(Presentation Day Novena 2020)


These words sum up the journey of sixty years that I recently celebrated in Nagoa, my home village. My two community companions, Sisters Ritty and Amala went out of their way to make the day a time of celebration for all, using their special gifts to add beauty and colour to the rustic ambience in which we live. I love this simple ‘rustic-ness’ and it was enhanced by celebrating the Eucharist right among the trees with the whisper of the rustling leaves, as the wind provided us with its own natural air conditioning on that sunny day. The presence of our Sisters from Goa, Friends of Nano and others added to my joy. Thank you for being with me in celebration.

Sr Lancia created a meaningful liturgy on the theme that I chose, The Spiraling Energies of God defies Containment, the first lines of a poem written by Sr Raphael Consedine, pbvm. For me it was a celebration of a God who not only defies containment in herself, but who in my life was constantly pushing me on, and refusing to allow me to remain in a stagnant pool. There were times that I resisted the calls to find new meanings, to take risks and to remain in the comforting security of the known. However, I soon began to find it life-giving to go along with this reckless God who is beyond definitions, and who cannot be contained in narrow spaces but is bursting forth in the opening hymn, Our God can never be contained. Feel the motion, feel the rhythm…contemplation, proclamation, breathe the spending and the sending. There were times in life that I was pushed into the mounds of darkness and there were no stars to shine for me. The unknown is not a pleasant space to be in, but remaining in The Mystery we call by different names, brings its own glimpses of light, insight and sometimes an exclamation Wow! Fortunately or unfortunately, this Wow feeling often does not remain too long!!

I thank God for each one of you, who have been an important part of this reckless journey of love into Mystery, grateful for the blessings of both encouragement as well as of criticism which kept me humble and on my two feet. The spiraling energies of God that defies containment will continue to call forth the same recklessness, but maybe with age there will be a quieter recklessness in the years ahead. Let us celebrate this Unexpected God of Surprises, but always a God of love.

Submitted by: Sr Lisa Pires, pbvm (India South Unit)