Lettera Madre 10 novembre 2013
The month of November brings to mind in a particular way all our loved ones who have gone before us – God be good to them! Two significant dates stand out in this month: we call to mind our beloved Madre Giovanna Antonietti on 13th the anniversary of her death and Blessed Antonio Rosmini on 18th the anniversary of his Beatification. May these special days bring us many blessings.
While we give thanks to God for their lives, let us not forget that it is because of their complete reliance on God, combined with their personal hardships and great suffering that we can rejoice in the Lord who calls us today to the same service of love, as Sisters of Providence.
We recall Cardinal Martin’s words: “Raising him to the honours of the altar, the Church points also to this priest as an intercessor and model for humanity today, for us. The life and teachings of the Founder of the Institute of Charity exhort us to resolutely place God at the centre of our existence and to serve him in humanity, in which he is “sacramentally” present, in whatever field the Lord calls us, only too happy to be inserted into Christ as branches on the Vine, and in an attitude of dialogue, not opposition, with today’s many and deceptive currents of thought.
May a hymn of thanksgiving rise from our holy assembly to the Lord who guides everything with his wonderful Providence. And in the words our Blessed gave us in 1849 during a time of grave trial, writing to a confrere: “Meditating on Providence, I admire it: admiring it, I love it; loving it, I celebrate it; celebrating it, I thank God for it; thanking God for it, I am filled with happiness. And how could it be otherwise, if I know by reason and faith and I feel in the depths of my spirit that all that God does or wills or permits, is done by an infinite, an essential love? And who could withdraw himself from love?” (EA, III, p. 508, let. 1124). (Cardinal Jose’ Saraiva Martins, Novara,18 Nov 2007)
In the following year 1850, Fr Founder wrote these words of encouragement, from his own deep experience of suffering, to Madre Giovanna Antonietti:
“The many other tribulations with which the Lord at present wishes to prove our fidelity … we must bear, my dear daughter, with equal resignation and constancy: we must not grow discouraged or give into fear, or much less lose hope or let our spirits flag. God is with us, especially when we are in trouble. So we must have faith in him: he will not allow us to be tried beyond our strength. Rather with his grace he will increase our strength according to the measure of our tribulation”. (10 Feb 1850: EA,VI, 202, let. 1173).
May Blessed Antonio and Madre Giovanna inspire us in their simplicity of living and their complete confidence in God.
May God bless us.
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