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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Reflection on the Rescue of the Chilean Miners

October 26th, 2010

Renee Yann is a Sister of Mercy and VP for Mission and Values at Mercy Keystone Health Plan in Philadelphia. She wrote this reflection in anticipation of the rescue of the Chilean Miners, which we wanted to share with you.

Dear Friends and Co -ministers,

Last night and today, the world’s thoughts and prayers are even more closely focused on a small town in Chile where thirty-three men have been trapped deep in the darkness of the earth.

One by one, over the course of the forty-eight hours, these men will be delivered to light, resurrected to the life they left, unsuspecting, one morning over two months ago. They will be extracted from the earth through a passageway barely shoulder-wide. Like any birth, each of their transitions will be accompanied by that strange mix of agony and hope that yields new life. And with each one of them, we will experience vicariously what it means to be reborn.

On a brilliant October days such as these, when even the leaves seem made of sunshine, we might more deeply appreciate the longing of the Chilean miners to return to the light. Each of us, at sometime in our lives, has spent time beneath the surface of life. Perhaps we have known the darkness of depression, bereavement, addiction, mental illness or economic desperation in ourselves or those we love. Time spent in the cavern of these burdens is exponentially longer than normal time. We expend enormous amounts of energy looking for a way out, until we finally abandon ourselves to the realization that the only way “out” is “through”.

Over these hours, these miners will complete their passage “through”. As each one comes back to his family, let us thank God with them. And may we use the time as a meditation and thanksgiving for our own passages, whether completed or on-going. May we use it as a time of prayer for our world that we may be delivered from war, poverty, tyranny, terrorism and selfishness. Whether or not these men knew it, our Creator has held their hands through the weeks of suffering. God will rise with them in the narrow cage of their deliverance. And God is always with us as we are continually born to newness in our own lives. Today, as we watch the newsreels, holding our breath in anticipation, remember the One Who is always holding your hand.


Sister Renee


Renee Yann, RSM

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