Lettera Madre November 2017

Lettera Madre November 2017

United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters …

Via Aurelia, 773

My dear Sisters,
November is a time of ‘bringing to mind’ important people in our lives and in that of the Congregation, with all the Saints, the Faithful Departed, Mother Giovanna, Bl Antonio Rosmini.
On the occasion of the Beatification of Bl Antonio Rosmini, Cardinal Martins pointed to him “as an intercessor and model for humanity today, for us” and who by his life and writings calls us to “place God at the centre of our existence and to serve him in humanity … in whatever field the Lord calls us, only too happy to be inserted into Christ as branches on the Vine.” (18 November 2007)

During the course of the Leadership Meeting, in July, we – Sisters from different parts of the Congregation, made a Pilgrimage of thanksgiving to the tombs of Mother Giovanna and of Antonio Rosmini, remembering also each Sister in the various Districts.

Pilgrimages to a geographical place are generally undertaken either to ask for a favour or in thanksgiving. Whether we make a physical pilgrimage, touching the earth of the holy place or choose to go within, either way we are “on pilgrimage”, to where our heart is.

The Pilgrimage to which we are invited to make here does not need a passport or a ticket: it is part of the journey to which we have referred many times during the liturgical year. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Beatification of our Blessed Fr Founder, let us come together this year where possible, as community or communities, setting aside a space of time during the three preceding days, to make a pilgrim TRIDUUM, towards the 10th anniversary of this historical event in the life of the Church. In some places, it may be possible but not necessary, to include a physical pilgrimage!
The following suggestions from the Aspirations of Fr Founder, coupled with various verses from the Bible are nourishment for each day:

Day: Gratitude to God – ‘Centre of our existence’
 “Father, give me all that is good; I was created for what is good; give me all that is good.”
 “O my God, I was made for you: may I not lose you.”
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Ps 139:139)

Day: Gratitude for the other … ‘serve him in humanity’
 “Lord, make me one in understanding with all those who are good;
make us all one in reciprocal understanding; let us find each other in You;
may our hearts discover one another in You Lord, where they truly are.”
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. … I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (Jn 17:24-26)
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard about this hope in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing – as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” (Col 1:3-6)
Day: What do you wish? What do you ask?
 Lord, I thank you for granting me all that I ask you in the name of your divine son.
Father I beg you that I may be all that his heart wants me to be.
Father, I ask for your divine Son and for your Spirit”.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (Jn 15)
Following this, on 18 November, in the sentiments of Cardinal Martins, we too can exclaim again: “May a hymn of thanksgiving rise from our holy assembly to the Lord, who guides everything with his wonderful Providence”. And with the advice of Bl Antonio Rosmini we can go forward filled with hope: “For the rest, keep your gaze firmly fixed on the adorable Providence of our Lord and Creator; and I am sure that if you do this, nothing will dismay you. (Lett. vol lll no 77)
We remember Mother Giovanna with joy and gratitude, on 13th November, in whom blossomed that ‘spirit of poverty and simplicity’ which was the legacy of Fr Founder. She “lovingly carried out every ordinary action, took to her heart the burdens and the weaknesses of others, brought the supernatural so artlessly into everyday life, harmonized so well the active life with the contemplative.” (Our First Carissima Madre, Suor Giovanna Antonietti) Let us -as Rosmini suggests- imitate her virtues as teacher and affectionate mother of children and young people, a sister with mothers, and a spiritual and practical guide for her companions. May she continue to inspire us by her gentleness of word and action.
I wish you a happy Triduum Pilgrimage and a Blessed Day on 18!
News: We give thanks to God that the Sisters in Maharashtra have at last, after many sacrifices, got a new Building, providing a much needed school and living accommodation for the Sisters: the Blessing of this new Building will take place on 2 December. God willing, I hope to visit the Sisters of the Indian District at the end of November – Sr Carla will accompany me and we hope to be present for this event.


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