Letter Padre Generale life consecrated
My dear Brethren,
Since the beginning last year of the mandate which I received from
the Lord through the Chapter, I have shared with you some indications
regarding our common spiritual journey. These are to be found in the two
letters sent to all of you, first the 2013 Christmas letter and then the
guidelines and directives issued on May 20, 2014.
I have tried to follow the advice of Father Founder: “It is better to
plant the root of the tree first of all so that from this there will grow the
trunk, branches, flowers and fruits. In the same way, a prudent parochial
priest must aim primarily at implanting the root of the knowledge of Christ
in souls, preaching very much the spirit of the holy Gospel. When he has
performed this first operation and the people have received this spirit, then
they are ready …” (A. Rosmini, ’Talks to Priests’, Chapter XVI)
Now all of us are receiving something very grand: the grace of a
special year, the Year of Consecrated Life.
I would say this is a wake up call, an appeal, and not just an invitation. We
have already received three authoritative directions and a call for
commitment as regards the journey.
The first was an order – directly from the Pope – “to awaken the world”; a
second message entitled ” Rejoice”, and a third giving suggestions on how
to “examine” the indications that are coming from God. [As yet there is
not an official English translation of this third document].
The question now is whether we will be ready to live this special year?
The document entitled “Rejoice,” from the Congregation for Consecrated Life, has the ten questions that the Pope, in his meetings with consecrated, has put on several occasions:
– Where there are consecrated people there is joy: but where does the joy come from?
– God is waiting for you, looking for you: what will be your answer?
– How can I be free from this ‘culture of the provisional’?
– We want young consistent young people. Are we consistent!
– Are we enchanted by that worldliness that drives us to do everything for the sake of ourselves?
– Do we believe in the love of God and of others?
– Do you speak ill of your mother, your father, your siblings? Why then do you do so in the consecrated life?
– Do we know how to await God’s tomorrow? Or do we want it today?
– How fruitful is my spirituality, my pastoral work?
– Do we have great visions and momentum? Do our dream fly high? Does zeal devour us?
The document entitled “Scrutiny” carries eleven ‘provocations’ of Pope Francis.
– “When the Lord gives us a mission to accomplish, he always prepares us with a process of purification, of discernment, of obedience and of prayer.”
– “The devil tries to divide us, always. He is the father of division; he uses envy to divide us.”
– “Ask for the grace of the hope that is not optimism; it is another thing, the grace to renew each day the covenant with the Lord who has called us.”
– “This is our destiny: to walk in the light of the promises, confident that they will become reality. This is our life: to believe and begin walking. ”
– “Walking, however unsteady or limping our gait, is always better than standing still, locked up in in our queries or in our security.”
– “Religious are prophets. A religious should never renounce prophecy.”
– “This is a Christian attitude: supervision of oneself. What is happening in my heart? What made me happy today and what did not make me happy? “.
– “Thank God, you do not live and work as isolated individuals, but as a community; thank God for that! The community supports the whole apostolate.”
– “You are a yeast that can produce a good bread for all, that bread for which there is such a need: the listening to needs, desires, disappointments and hope.”
-“Those who left us at times did so for reasons that, if properly understood and valued, can lead to a return. But it takes courage, much courage.”
– “The encounter between the young and the old, between observance and prophecy is lived in the consecrated life Let us not see it as two opposing realities.”
At the beginning of a new year good wishes are exchanged. “Happy New Year of the consecrated life”! Here are some of my own:
– May God fill you with his grace, and may you respond generously every day.
– May the Institute and your community rely on you even more this year, and also for coming years.
– May your talents, which you have received from the Lord, be multiplied by the end of the year for the benefit of all.
– May joy never abandon you seeing that your names are already written in heaven.
– May you grow in your attachment to Rosminian spirituality in its three forms of charity.
– May those who encounter you draw benefit for their spiritual life.
A gift will soon follow these good wishes. It is a study, soon to be translated into English, regarding the inspiration that Father Founder received, cultivated and then established as the full realization of the
Institute. It treats of the situation of the Rosminian religious priest, a
precious pearl, which makes nothing no less than the life of Jesus shine in
All good wishes therefore and prayers for God’s blessing on all of us, the
protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the intercession of our Blessed
November 18, 2014,
Seventh anniversary of the Beatification.
Father Vito Nardin,
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