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Wednesday, January 16, 2019
on 03 February, 2018
United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters ...
 

CONGREGAZIONE
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
ROMA

My dear Sisters, Happy Feast of the Presentation of the Lord!
We also mount the steps of the Temple for the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, while the Church celebrates the XXII World Day of Consecrated Life. This is a day of thanksgiving and prayer for the gift of vocations with the title: “Vocation is a gift we have received from the Lord, who has fixed his gaze on us and loved us.” [Pope Francis]


In this context and in view of today’s Gospel narrative, Pope Francis describes consecrated life as “an encounter with Christ” emphasising that “it is he who comes to us, led by Mary and Joseph, and we go towards him guided by the Holy Spirit. He is at the centre.” He continues: “He draws us to the Temple, to the Church, where we can meet him recognize him, welcome him, embrace him … Jesus comes to us in the Church through the foundational charism of an Institute: it is nice to think of our vocation in this way! Our encounter with Christ took shape in the Church through the charism of one of her witnesses. This always amazes us and makes us give thanks.” (2 Feb 2014)


The mixture of joy in the Presentation of Jesus with the prophecy of pain for Mary “a sword will pierce your own soul”, as we read in this Gospel scene, reminds us of this combination within consecrated life and undoubtedly within life generally. Even so, like Simeon we too can experience “the joy of being led by the Spirit, never unyielding, never closed, always open to the voice of God that speaks, that opens, that leads us and invites us to go towards the horizon.”
The symbolism within the “Presentation” - the handing over of Jesus by Mary to Simeon who ‘took Him in his arms and blessed God’, is reflected in the ‘handing over’ of our own life’s breath to God ….
Recently I read this: “Consecrated Life is something we breathe, rather than something that we think about. The question is not ‘what is the consecrated life?’, but rather ‘how can I be a religious woman today?’”
In answering this question and as we begin the “Year of Trust”, let us ‘recall’ (look into our heart) and appreciate one of the main expressions of the charism we embraced at the beginning of religious life; is it still the mainstay, the sap, the ‘lifeblood’ - of our call?

Here it is:
“There is perhaps no Maxim which, if it is practiced
with the simplicity and generosity of heart that it requires,
renders the follower of JESUS Christ more pleasing to the Heavenly Father.
For it implies complete confidence in Him, and in Him alone,
complete detachment from all that appears delightful,
powerful, and illustrious on earth,
and a tender love, reserved for God alone.
It implies a living faith,
which believes as certain that all things in the world,
both great and small, rest alike in the hand of our Heavenly Father,
and that nothing is done only as he wills
for the accomplishment of His wonderful plans.
It implies a trust in the infinite goodness, mercy,
bounty, and generosity, of our Heavenly Father,
who in all things works for the good of those who trust in Him;
and whose gifts, and favours, graces and care,
are in proportion to the confidence His well-beloved ones place in Him.
… Fear not little flock”…
How complete is this instruction of our Divine Master
as to the way in which His faithful disciples
are to abandon themselves
into the loving arms of Divine Providence.”
(Max 4)
United with each one of you, I wish you an abundance of trust, knowing that we are truly in the hands of God!
c.m.