Letter Superior General 13 November 2014
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
13 November 2014
My dear Sisters,
During these days while visiting some communities in northern Italy, many thoughts fill my mind, not least the breath-taking beauty of the surroundings together with the many events which remind me of the beginnings within our history. One such beginning – of particualar interest – celebrates the memory of the 180th anniversary of the foundation of the Monastery House and School (7 November 1834-2014).
In reading the script ‘Una Lunga Storia’of the Monastery in Domodossola I am struck by two fundamental aspects: the way in which the Providence of God has always been present in the big and small events of our history, the continual discernment of Rosmini to discover the will of God. Intertwined in these circumstances we see how Rosmini goes to great pains in choosing Sisters, at the request of Mellerio, to teach in the new school, making sure they have the correct training and disposition and above all, that they are also capable of forming a peaceful community.
It is within this setting, in ottobre 1834 that Suor Giovanna a ‘fugative’ arrives in Domodossola. With her the process of discernment continues, whereby after much communication with and Letter-writing by Rosmini a new community of peace is created. It is not surprising therefore, true to her own character, that “Giovanna Maria Antonietti, from the mountain-life of the AlpiOssolane … who works in the vineyard of the Lord” (Paoli, Antonio Rosmini 1880 p 90) can truly say: “If there is anything you can do with gentleness, do it. But when you feel yourself inclined to be harsh, refrain from saying anything even if you are afraid some harm may ensue.” (Our First Carissima Madre, Suor Giovanna Antonietti, P 88)
Coincidentally, better still, providentially, “World Kindness Day” is also celebrated on 13th November. This is the day indicated to change the world with one simple act of kindness. We too can do something proactive to be kind to others, and the world around us in playing our part. For half a minute on 13th November, we are asked to contemplate kindness and selfless acts that have had a lasting impact on us. Nothing extraordinary, or shouting it from the rooftops: it is an attitude and gesture as gentle as the notion itself.
May Mother Giovanna inspire us by her gentleness of word and action.
May God bless us.
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