sussidio 8 2015
From the Word of God
Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats at the water’s edge. The fishermen had got out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’
Simon replied, ‘Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’
And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled both boats to sinking point. When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’
For he and all his companions were completely awestruck at the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will be catching.’
Then, bringing their boats back to land they left everything and followed him. (Lk 5:1-11)
From the Documents of the Church
That the old saying will always be true: “Where there are religious, there is joy”. We are called to know and show that God is able to fill our hearts to the brim with happiness; that we need not seek our happiness elsewhere; that the authentic fraternity found in our communities increases our joy; and that our total self-giving in service to the Church, to families and young people, to the elderly and the poor, brings us life-long personal fulfilment.
None of us should be dour, discontented and dissatisfied, for “a gloomy disciple is a disciple of gloom”. Like everyone else, we have our troubles, our dark nights of the soul, our disappointments and infirmities, our experience of slowing down as we grow older. But in all these things we should be able to discover “perfect joy”. For it is here that we learn to recognize the face of Christ, who became like us in all things, and to rejoice in the knowledge that we are being conformed to him who, out of love of us, did not refuse the sufferings of the cross.
In a society which exalts the cult of efficiency, fitness and success, one which ignores the poor and dismisses “losers”, we can witness by our lives to the truth of the words of Scripture: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).
I am counting on you “to wake up the world”, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy. Prophets receive from God the ability to scrutinize the times in which they live and to interpret events: they are like sentinels who keep watch in the night and sense the coming of the dawn (cf. Is 21:11-12). Prophets know God and they know the men and women who are their brothers and sisters. They are able to discern and denounce the evil of sin and injustice. Because they are free, they are beholden to no one but God, and they have no interest other than God. Prophets tend to be on the side of the poor and the powerless, for they know that God himself is on their side.
Men and women religious, like all other consecrated persons, have been called “experts in communion”. So I am hoping that the “spirituality of communion” will become a reality and that you will be in the forefront of responding to “the great challenge facing us” in this new millennium: “to make the Church the home and the school of communion.” (Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to All Consecrated People on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, 21 November 2014)
From the writings of Blessed Antonio Rosmini
All Christians leading ordinary lives must desire a certain fullness of charity.
However, their many preoccupations with the world have divisive and distracting effects in them; at least for the greater part of their time, they can occupy themselves with God and divine things in an indirect and habitual way only. On the other hand, the person who chooses religious life puts aside all preoccupations with the world. His dedication to the love of God enables him to be intent upon his God directly and explicitly at every moment, as far as humanly possible in this life; his mind is empty and his heart free from all things and passions; his sole motive for engaging in human affairs is charity.
(The Constitutions of the Society of Charity, n. 45)
The spirit of the Institute is a spirit of union and peace which tends to fraternal association with the religious of all other Congregations and Orders. How desirable such a union is! Here lies our strength, and our holiness also. (To the Oblate Fr. Lodovico Griffa in Turin, from Stresa, 12 April 1843, EC vol. VIII, Lett. 4772, p. 414)
Let us pray (Ps 16)
Protect me, O God, in you is my refuge.
To Yahweh I say, ‘You are my Lord, my happiness is
in none of the sacred spirits of the earth.’
They only take advantage of all who love them.
People flock to their teeming idols.
Never shall I pour libations to them!
Never take their names on my lips.
My birthright, my cup is Yahweh;
you, you alone, hold my lot secure.
The measuring-line marks out for me a delightful place,
my birthright is all I could wish.
I bless Yahweh who is my counsellor,
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep Yahweh before me always,
for with him at my right hand, nothing can shake me.
So my heart rejoices, my soul delights,
my body too will rest secure,
for you will not abandon me to Sheol,
you cannot allow your faithful servant to see the abyss.
You will teach me the path of life, unbounded joy
in your presence, at your right hand delight for ever.
PASTORAL YEAR 2014 – 2015
INSTITUTE OF CHARITY
ROSMINIAN SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE
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