sussidio 4 February 2019
From the WORD of GOD
Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him.
2 Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
3 How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is
4 Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.
5 Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they
shall have their fill.
7 Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as
children of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of
uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and
speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven;
this is how they persecuted the prophets before you. (Mt 5:1-12)
From the DOCUMENTS of the CHURCH
The word “happy” or “blessed” thus becomes a synonym for “holy”. It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness (64).
Jesus’ words clearly run counter to the way things are usually done in our world. Even if we find Jesus’ message attractive, the world pushes us towards another way of living. The Beatitudes are in no way trite or undemanding, quite the opposite. We can only practise them if the Holy Spirit fills us with his power and frees us from our weakness, our selfishness, our complacency and our pride (65).
Let us listen once more to Jesus, with all the love and respect that the Master deserves. Let us allow his words to unsettle us, to challenge us and to demand a real change in the way we live. Otherwise, holiness will remain no more than an empty word (66).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
The Gospel invites us to peer into the depths of our heart, to see where we find our security in life. Usually the rich feel secure in their wealth, and think that, if that wealth is threatened, the whole meaning of their earthly life can collapse (67). Wealth ensures nothing. Indeed, once we think we are rich, we can become so self-satisfied that we leave no room for God’s word, for the love of our brothers and sisters, or for the enjoyment of the most important things in life. In this way, we miss out on the greatest treasure of all. That is why Jesus calls blessed those who are poor in spirit, those who have a poor heart, for there the Lord can enter with his perennial newness (68).
This spiritual poverty is closely linked to what Saint Ignatius of Loyola calls “holy indifference”, which brings us to a radiant interior freedom (69). Being poor of heart: that is holiness.
(Gaudete et Exultate, Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis)
From the WRITINGS of Blessed A. ROSMINI
The important thing is to keep our spiritual intention always active and directed to God; and as the holy Fathers tell us, this is the highest point of the soul.
Here is what the Imitation says: As long as you live, you will be subject to changing moods, whether you like it or not … but the wise man, who has thoroughly taken to heart the lessons of the spiritual life, takes his stand high above all these drifting emotions; he pays no heed to what he may be feeling in himself, does not care from what quarter the wind of inconstant moods may be blowing. Instead he directs every aspiration of his heart towards its rightful and desired goal.’ (Book 3, chapter 33); and this is the way of holy liberty of spirit to aim with the eye of the mind always at God alone; to rest all our free-will there; and as regards everything else, to put up with ourselves in all our weakness. Certainly we are not capable of great things; and if we are well persuaded of this we shall be contented at all times.
(To Don Pietro Rigler in the seminary of Trent from Domodossola, 10 November 1830; A.L .Vol. I, let.86, p.161,translated and edited by John Morris IC )
We must couple a limitless trust in his immense goodness with a great distrust of ourselves, in view of our extreme weakness and wretchedness. We know well that it is not our aim simply to admire virtue at a distance, so to speak: rather, we must make it a reality in practice; we have to show it in action, clothe ourselves in it. Yet how hard this is, given our poor human limitations! Still, it is in this very difficulty – which we can overcome through faith and constancy, or rather which God in us will overcome – it is in this that there consists the great glory that St Paul speaks of: ‘Let him who glories glory in the Lord.’
Tell me something of the great work in which you are engaged, a work which aims at nothing less than the detachment of your soul from all things, even from life, even from your own self.
Oh blessed poverty of spirit! Truly, ‘Blessed are the poor.’
So maintain a burning fervour, in simplicity and peace.
(To Brother Enrico Arnoldo Fehr at Calvario, Stresa,7 November 1839; A.L. Vol. III, let.114, p.151)
LET US PRAY
Indeed God is good to Israel,
the Lord to those who are pure of heart.
My feet were on the point of stumbling,
a little more and I had slipped,
envying the arrogant as I did.
My heart’s rock, my portion, God for ever!
My happiness is to be near God.
I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge,
to tell of all your works. (Ps 73)
PASTORAL YEAR 2018 – 2019
INSTITUTE OF CHARITY
ROSMINIAN SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE
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