Lettera Madre July 2017
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
My dear Sisters,
The backdrop to our thoughts for 1 July this year, is surely one
of Gratitude: appreciation for the Life of our Blessed Founder, Antonio Rosmini.
And we do not have to search too far to discover what was crucial to his life!
Significantly, after his priestly ordination, he wrote in his diary: “From this hour onwards, I must be a new man … converse always with Christ … I must return from the altar a saint, an apostle, a man full of God.” (Leetham, p 29 cf. AL, Vol. II, no 14)
Continuing our thought on the Eucharist – the essence of thanksgiving, where we understood something of the great faith of Fr Founder in ‘the presence of Jesus in his Church until the end of time’, (letter for Corpus Christi), let us now ponder the question Bozzetti puts before us. “What did Jesus Christ intend when he pronounced those words and said to his disciples: ‘Continue to do this in memory of me’? We think about it and we wonder. Jesus desires real human contact with each of us.” (Rosminian Spirituality, p 383)
The celebration of the Eucharist, ‘do this in memory of me’, was the central focus for Rosmini: ‘he celebrated Mass, with such profound absorption in God, slowly, and almost overcome by the sacred mysteries. His face seemed alight, ‘he appeared to speak with God face to face’ and for a long time after his Mass no one dared approach him as he made a long thanksgiving … His health made no difference, joy or sorrow brought no change: from the moment he went to the sacristy until after his thanksgiving, he seemed transformed. This impression was made on all who saw him’. (cf. Leetham, p 28-29; Pagani, p 52).
Inseparable from this is the offering of himself (his life’s blood) to God, holding back nothing in life nor in death.
Looking at ourselves, I ask myself: am I mindful of what is happening during this ‘focal point of our day’ (Const. 93) where ‘Jesus desires real human contact with each of us’? Do I have the courage to offer my life in union with Christ’? (Dir 93.1)
Rosmini: “A man full of God” to the end! Some days before Rosmini’s death, Manzoni summed up the life of his friend in these sentiments: “he can only find reason for gratitude; and as he expressed this attitude to me, he concluded that we must ADORE, BE SILENT, REJOICE, and he pronounced this last word as only he can.” (Leetham, p 475)
We thank God for all those Sisters who this year rejoice in the celebration of their Anniversaries of religious life! In some places it is a time of retreat, holiday and family visit: may it be a time of blessing for all; while in other parts of the Congregation, the fruits of this holiday period are already visible! Thanks be to God for all this!
Wherever we are on this day, whether joining the Fathers and the Ascribed, or being part of a Parish or School community or celebrating within one’s own community, let us take a moment ‘to adore, be silent and rejoice’ in Gratitude!
With these thoughts, I wish you a Happy 1st July!
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