Lettera Madre Easter 2018
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
My dear Sisters,
Here we are again, at the Week in the year which is called “Holy” – a week where suffering and joy are woven together.
The experience of suffering and fragility, whether lived personally or seen in others can become a gift – a new view of life: we can either live it negatively or we can grasp it by accepting and living each new day in a positive way. I continue to learn again and again the power to live in the present moment; trusting that ‘all shall be well’, in the words of Julian of Norwich; and to appreciate all the circumstances that come along. The dawning of another day is truly a ‘gift’ where I have an opportunity to see the sun rising and to give thanks for being alive – something I cannot ever take for granted.
We have journeyed with Christ through Lent, from the silence of the wilderness to the acclamation of Palm Sunday. And we move, along with all God’s people, towards the Paschal Mystery, which lies at the ‘heart’ of each Christian community, where we remember and relive the central events of our Redemption: the celebration of the Last Supper, through to the suffering of Calvary and to the joy of Easter morning.
The one reality embracing the whole of Holy Week and Easter is the Eucharist which we celebrate every day of the year, together. “Every celebration of the Eucharist is a ray of that never setting sun that is the Risen Jesus. Taking part in the Mass, particularly on Sunday, means entering the victory of the Risen One, being illuminated by his light, warmed by his compassion. Through the Eucharistic celebration the Holy Spirit makes us participants in the divine life that is able to transfigure our whole mortal being. In his passage from death to life, from time to eternity, the Lord Jesus also draws us with him to experience the Passover. In the Mass we celebrate Passover. We, during Mass, are with Jesus, who died and is Risen, and he draws us forth to eternal life.” (Pope Francis, Nov, 2017)
We can take this time of the year for granted or alternatively we can welcome the opportunity to enter into the liturgical events, in being open to God’s grace. Why? How do we ‘undertake’ this journey to Calvary … to Easter? Do we go along with the crowd or do we choose to enter into the significance of this suffering, this new life?
Each year, Holy Week comes around and challenges us to a journey both internal and external: towards inward transformation into the likeness of Christ – a unique call to each one – the ‘source of living water’ from which any encounter, any effective ministry can flow. Holiness and personal integrity become a way of life before moving outward to others in our world.
Irrespective of age or culture, any vision we may have of a Community living life to the full, is formed by growing both individually and together, ‘because God loved us so much that He sent his one and only Son into the world to die and rise again, that we might have life … and live it to the full’. That we may be a community where we help to carry each other’s cross; where there is forgiveness; where we support each other in the ‘normal little crosses’ and ‘easter-joys’ of life. God wants us to be deeply rooted in Him and in one another. As we journey with Jesus, let us pray for each other, that each one will make time to BE in silence with Him. Following the disciples, who after the resurrection, spent much time together:
eating, travelling, and growing in Christ-likeness; we too as a Community, as a Church are challenged to bring the Good News with us on our daily walk, not only in our prayer, and thoughts but also in our words and actions, according to what God provides in the every-day circumstances. Here are some recent words of Pope Francis to consecrated people: “And like those women, be the first to meet the Lord, risen and alive. Cling to him and go off immediately to tell your brothers and sisters, your eyes brimming with joy. In this way, you are the Church’s perennial dawn.” (2 Feb 2018)
As we approach the Easter Triduum we cannot live without being caught up in of the world of recent happenings: natural disasters and national conflicts, violence at international level, including the persecution of Christians which can easily touch us… We are living in a world challenged by a crisis of trust!
Holy Week is a time of Jesus’ utter trust in his Father: “into your hands I commend my spirit. Let us live, TRUSTING in God’s goodness for ourselves and for peace in our world. Easter is truly a time of new Life, of new opportunities given to us, when the Son of God, died on the cross for us and rose again. Central to our Christian faith is the truth that God raised Jesus from the dead. The Gospels tell us ‘at dawn … the women went to look at the tomb downcast but they hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples’. We too are people with a message: the message of the Good News.
In this Paschal time, I want to greet you with the words of Fr Founder: “I remember you warmly and frequently to the most blessed heart of our Lord. I am more than happy to find all my dear companions in that heart, … I look for the same from you; indeed, I am certain of it. I know also that you are fulfilling the office assigned to you with zeal. It is rewarding to serve the Lord in our neighbour and to do so with equanimity and joy. Let us try to keep one another happy in the Lord. To him we pledge ourselves, especially these days in which we celebrate the Resurrection that is the fruit of the suffering of Christ… Resolve therefore not only to preserve the happiness and the peace of Christ, but also to promote them in others. (AL vol. VIII lett 42)
I wish each one of you all the Blessings of Easter
and also a Happy Feast of the Annunciation!
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