Introductory session with Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, Superior General

Session with Sr. M. Regina, Superior General
Today we had the great joy and honour to welcome among us our Mother General Sr. M. Regina who was entrusted with the introductory meeting to start the course off and set us on our way for the next three months. First on the agenda was the explanation of the objective because if we're embarking on a journey, it is necessary to have a goal or a destination.Explaining this objective, she borrowed the charismatic phrase from Fr. Alberione, who in turn 'borrowed' from St. Paul: "Donec formetur Christus in vobis" or in English, "Until Christ is formed in you".This verse we find in Paul's exhortation to the Galatians, Chapter 4, 19-20. We all know how much our Founder loved this phrase and how he set out his whole life to configure his life to Christ. This is one of the most precious charismatic legacies which he leaves us especially his book with the same name which has become one of the important tools for the Pauline life and especially for the initial formation.

So why this phrase? When will Christ be 'formed' in us? More so how is He being formed in us each day? These are questions which Sr. Regina used to help us enter into the pedagogy of the journey of Christification. It does not happen instantly and requires constant commitment and perseverance. It is a journey which continues to move onwards and does not turn back. In this optic we can look at perpetual profession for it too moves towards a fixed goal and destination. However, the journey never finishes and thus, perpetual profession is a step towards eternity. It is a step carried out in love and love never ends. Therefore with our offering we become a sign of God's love which knows no end. Similarly just as signs and symbols point to a deeper reality, with divine help, our witness of consecration points to the mystery of the love of God, a profound mystery which we continue to deepen every day.

Sr. M. Regina
With her rich biblical competence, Sr. M. Regina, introduced us to another biblical text, that of St. Paul to the Romans 12, 1-2: "I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."  It is a text which we find in the Common of Saints in the Divine Office, a very fitting text as it synthesises the whole Christian life and the call to holiness. Every time we renew our Profession we renew these ideas of St. Paul: our lives are a complete offering to God, an offering which is pleasing to Him. Therefore God takes all that we offer Him: our strengths and our weaknesses, our difficulties and our successes, our hopes and aspirations, our fears and failures: these are all part of who we are. Our body is the sacrament of our interiority: of our spiritual journey, our deep relationship with God, the intimacy of our consecration expressed in the vows.

When we offer our lives to God, we must assign a value to everything which composes our past and our present because this is the project of love which He writes with our life. Nothing is lost and everything becomes a living liturgy in an existential way and not just ritually. Whilst it can be frightening at times but the reality is that our offering is a holocaust. It is totally consumed in the love of God and in the service of humanity but our consolation comes in knowing that Jesus the High Priest, through his offering as High Priest, permits us to make our Perpetual Offering, that is, our Perpetual Profession. In this way, the transformation from "I" to "we" takes place for our spirituality is christocentric, not egocentric. It is the transformation from "I" to "you", the horizons expand towards our brothers and sisters but the pendulum always returns to the centre which is Jesus. For this to take place, we need to be 'evangelised': the Gospel must become profoundly rooted in our hearts so that it becomes normal to love with an unconditional love, to forgive sincerely, to rejoice and believe with Easter joy even in times of sadness and suffering. Only we ourselves have been evangelised can we bring this message of hope to our communities, our Church, our society.

Every day we are at the school of the Eucharist, the Word of God, of charity- it is here alone that we can know Jesus. Consequently the journey allows us to become integrated women, capable of bringing life where we go, free from fear. We can take the centurion as our model, as proposed in St. Luke's Gospel today. He was sure that Jesus' word was enough to cure his servant. Jesus' word is enough! And so too in our lives, Jesus, Word of the Father is enough for us, God always keeps his promises even in the midst of our infidelities. His greatest promise was to send his Son as the Word made Flesh who is the departure and arrival point of our journey because of his intense relationship with the Father.

Thanks to Sr. M. Regina for an interesting introductory session and for giving us plenty of food for thought and for prayer,for tracing out the journey of Christification with clarity and example.

The journey continues...!

Comments

  1. Congrats Juniors!!!
    Wish you all a wonderful pilgrimage and great experience at Alba, our birth place!
    Pray for me.....
    Louise, You are doing a great job!! Keep it up!

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