We are communicating once again after a time of silence, but prompted by the feast of Paul of the Cross. The sisters in the northern hemisphere will be returning to their regular missions after the summer vacation, and those in the south are preparing for the summer which is about to begin. Probably all are worried or perplexed about the crisis that continues to knock on our doors and which is leaving by the wayside the most neglected and vulnerable of our societies.
On many occasions we have said that “crisis” is not synonymous with “disaster”, but that these moments of crisis can be times of purification and opportunities for new life.
In this “to-day” that we are living, we feel that the figure of Paul of the Cross is particularly relevant for us. In the midst of a system that has been building up and rejecting huge numbers of our global society, we hear the resounding words:
MUCH OF THE EVIL IN THE WORLD IS CAUSED BY FORGETFULNESS OF THE PASSION OF JESUS.
Paraphrasing Paul we could say:
THE CAUSE OF MUCH PAIN IN THE WORLD IS HAVING FORGOTTEN THE PASSION OF SO MANY OF THE CRUCIFIED OF TO-DAY AND ALWAYS.
This is our legacy, a legacy which began to take shape during Paul’s retreat in Castellazzo when he felt God calling him to gather together companions and with them found a congregation. During those days of retreat he had a vision: “I see my children in England”.
God plants a seed in Paul’s heart which remains vibrant and passionate; a seed that the Spirit carries like the windswept leaves to other hearts, cultures and lives.
Paul’s dream becomes a reality. The seed grows and gives fruit in the heart of a woman: Elizabeth Prout. She makes her own the intuition of Paul and she brings it to life. In her moments of solitude, of intimacy with the Lord, we can be sure these words resounded in her heart:
MUCH OF THE EVIL IN THE WORLD IS CAUSED BY FORGETFULNESS OF THE PASSION OF JESUS
This seed of the charism amongst the windswept leaves, gathering earth and water everywhere, has been enriched and adapted, because that is what we understand by the dynamism of any charism.
Sisters, I invite you to celebrate the Feast of Paul of the Cross by returning to this intuition of Paul in the light of Paragraph 2 of the Covenant. With the strength that we receive from our saints, let these words remain in our memory:
THE CAUSE OF SO MANY ILLS IS THE RESULT OF HAVING FORGOTTEN THE PASSION OF JESUS.
Then let us take on ourselves what the Book of Deuteronomy says:
“You shall repeat them to your children and say them over to them whether at rest in your house or walking abroad, at your lying down or at your rising; you shall fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a circlet; you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”. (Deut.6:7-9)
May our voices to-day be heard with others, who, in different parts of the planet, are calling for change, so that the world will be a better place for everybody, and in that way God’s dream will become a reality .
We wish the sisters of the Province of St. Paul of the Cross many blessings on their Feast Day. I would like to invite all the sisters on the 19th. to come together at the feet of the Crucified and of the crucified of to-day.
“MAY THE PASSION OF JESUS AND THE SORROWS OF MARY BE EVER IN OUR HEARTS.”