Day 7: Remembering the past so as to build the present

Chapel with the graves of the Disciples of the Divine Master
There is a Mexican saying that we die three deaths: the first when our bodies die, the second when our bodies are lowered into the earth out of sight, and the third when our loved ones forget us. Catholics forestall that last death by seeing the faithful dead as members of the Church, alive in Christ, and by praying for them and asking their prayers for us : always! Over the past few days we have visited many buildings, especially Churches, resting in prayer and recalling the needs of our Family throughout the world, thanking God for the marvels which He has carried out using the humble brother and sister Paulines. We have encountered the living history written in the lives of our sisters and brothers who are now preparing for the Final Journey home in our communities for the aged and infirm.

However one last visit was to be made: to the graveyard. The earthly reminder of our brothers and sisters here in this consecrated place reminds us: " You are dust and will return to dust". This poignant visit in a way allowed us to leaf through our family album as we passed by and read the names of the many sisters and brothers on the tombstones. Each face and name carries a story: a story of a generous 'Yes' to bring Jesus Master to the world, a story of obedience which went to the farthest corners of the earth, of a spirit of sacrifice which never counted the cost of unconditional love.

We were blessed to have known and lived with some of these sisters who now reap the eternal reward. The names of others evoke prayers of gratitude and acknowledgement for their contribution in missionary countries, other names are synonymous with humourous stories associated with the adventure of the initiation of the Family. Here we recalled the words of Fr. Alberione: "Meditate upon the example of the brothers and sisters who have gone before us to Heaven and from there continue to help us. The dogma of the communion of saints, as applied in general, is good, but even better is the dogma applied to the Pauline Family".

The text on the outside of the chapel is our heartfelt desire for each one of us and for those who sleep in Christ: " Ut in professione fidei, ita suffragiis et intercessione jungamur". (As in the Profession of Faith, so too, we remained united in suffrages and intercession). Dearest brothers and sisters, pray for us who continue in this earthly life, that our hearts may always seek the things of above and prepare for the final encounter with the Risen Master.

the tombs of our sisters: RIP