Questions posed by Pope Francis
Friday, April 3, 2015
Reflection on the Year of Consecrated Life April 2015
Reflection on the Year of Consecrated Life
Opening Song: Center of my Life Paul Inwood
O my God, infinitely amiable and adorable
My Creator, my Redeemer and my Sanctifier
My first beginning and my last end
I come now before you in prayer. Hear me, O Lord.
Psalm 27 (7-14)
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up.
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a level path because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD Glory be to the Father…
Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; For stern as death is love,
relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away.
Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked. Song of Songs 8: 6-7
READINGS FOR REFELCTION
Starting afresh from Christ:
A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third June 14, 2002
#8 Consecrated women and men have received a call to a “new and special consecration”, for the good of the Church, which impels them to live a life in imitation of Christ, the Virgin, and the Apostles with impassioned love. In our world this lifestyle stresses the urgency of a prophetic witness which entails “the affirmation of the primacy of God and of eternal life, as evidenced in the following and imitation of the chaste, poor and obedient Christ, who was completely consecrated to the glory of God and to the love of his brethren”.
Consecrated persons extend a persuasive invitation to reflect upon the primacy of grace and to respond to it through a generous spiritual commitment. Despite widespread secularization, there is a widespread demand for spirituality which is often expressed as a renewed need for prayer. Life’s events, even in their ordinariness, present themselves as challenges which should be seen in light of conversation. The dedication of consecrated persons to the service of an evangelical quality of life contributes to the keeping alive in many ways the spiritual practices among the Christian people. Religious communities increasingly seek to be places for hearing and sharing the Word, for liturgical celebration, for the teaching of prayer, and for accompaniment through spiritual direction. Thus, even without realizing it, this help given to others offers mutual advantages.
Rule of Life #23
Christ calls us to follow him with liberty of spirit and to share in his emptying of self for others (Phil 2:7). He was celibate and poor (Mt. 8:20; Lk 9:58) and obedient unto death (Phil 2:8). We freely vow chastity, poverty and obedience as a personal response in faith to God whose love the Holy Spirit has poured out in our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
Letter to Missionary Servants – March 22, 1923-MF 5329. Fr. Thomas Judge
Poverty, Chastity and Obedience!
What golden beads they are linking our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We meet our dear Lord as the Church presented Him to us last Sunday (Palm Sunday), the center of an acrimonious, contentious, irreverent crowd. My thoughts these days are much given over to pondering this: upon what did the eyes of Jesus gaze? “Behold the Man,” the Sacred Scripture says (Jn. 19:5). As they beheld, He too beheld. As they gazed, He gazed. Again: what did He see? Surely there is need of reparation for those sins of long ago and for the sins of those who today gaze so coldly and indifferently and irreverently upon Him. How consoling must be your gaze of love! What a comfort to the agonizing Heart of Jesus, on that dreadful first Good Friday. When He knew that your heart would be His.
(In pledging vows again), make your consecration through love, yes, but especially the love of a soul that sorrows and is pained because of Him and His sorrows. Let it be reparation of love. Let Him Who is so outraged today realize that you wish to make up and to love for yourself and for all those who refuse Him love. Let Him even see this generous love find expression in good works ad in the good will ever to make reparation. Unite all with His love and sorrows, with the love and sorrows of His compassionate Mother, with Saint Joseph and all the saints. May the Mother of our Lord, because of the word made Flesh, obtain for you many graces and blessings and above all that you may ever be generous, loyal and sacrificing (in the service of Jesus).
Questions posed by Pope Francis
Message for the Year of Consecrated Life, November 29, 2014
#2 The question we have to ask ourselves during this Year is if and how we too are open to being challenged by the Gospel; whether the Gospel is truly the “manual” for our daily living and the decisions we are called to make. The Gospel is demanding: it demands to be lived radically and sincerely. It is not enough to read (even though the reading and study of Scripture is essential), nor is it enough to meditate on it (which we do joyfully each day). Jesus asks us to practice it, to put his words into effect in our lives. Once again, we have to ask ourselves: Is Jesus really our first and only love, as we promised he would be when we professed our vows? Only if He is, will we be empowered to love, in truth and mercy, every person who crosses our path. For we will have learned from Jesus the meaning and practice of love. We will be able to love because we have his own heart.
Time for personal reflection & Faith Sharing
Closing: Blessed be God the Father who has created us,
Blessed be God the Son, who has redeemed us,
Blessed be God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us.
Blessed be the Holy and undivided Trinity, now and forever. Amen