Our Spirituality

Our Spirituality

"We are called to live the Paschal Mystery altatkerze
and to witness to the redeeming love of Christ."
 
(Const. 102)
Thus, the redeeming love of Jesus is the basic inspiration for our double vocation as missionary and as  religious, the  missionary service  and the life of prayer of every Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood.

 "Our name is also our mandate:
to honour in a special way the Blood of Christ, 
through which he redeemed all people. 
God makes the Blood of Christ fruitful through our apostolates." 
(Const. 102) 

wernbergaltarraumSr. Antonio Maria ThunherAs our name implies, we are a missionary congregation
and work primarily for evangelization among people
and nations who do not know Christ and his Gospel.
We are also active in areas where the local Church is not viable.
Thus there are few boundaries to the scope of our apostolates.
New fields open and we try to respond to the needs of our times. 
In all our activities and mission we want to be instruments of reconciliation, hope and new life.  

We live our Spirituality through our charism which gives our congregation its identity.

johannasprirrundSr. Johanna SennLike a small seed – it contains the potential for growth and development.  
Through our Charism we make the Paschal Mystery fruitful in our own personal lives and in the lives of all those we meet. The Paschal Mystery encompasses the life, passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord. It is not only His suffering and death on the cross – but also His life through which He shows us how to live and relate to God and our neighbour. Through His resurrection we share in the hope and joy of life eternal. .
We proclaim the redeeming love of Jesus through our prayer, our lives and our apostolates. He has reconciled us with the Father – in his blood we too can find the strength to reconcile with one another.

Our Inner Spirit

Our Inner Spirit was written by our Co-foundress  Mother Paula Emunds and completed in 1908. In her writing she assimilated the spirituality and thoughts of our founder, Abbot Francis Pfanner. It was, of course, written in the spirit and the language of the time.  However, this does not take away from the depth and wealth of the spirituality handed down to each member of the congregation.  In the Inner Spirit Mother Paula has given us a threefold treasure:

Three Principles benediktkerze

God is my father and I am His child.
This is the contemplative aspect of our religious commitment,
a call for us to develop a close relationship with God built on childlike trust.
Ora et Labora  (Prayer and Work)
 This is the active/missionary aspect of our religious commitment.
Unity is strength.
This is the guide for our community living and our apostolates  

 Three Devotions   fensterohneSr.Benedicte Schildkamp        

Devotion to the Precious Blood 

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to Mary, the Mother of God         

 Four Virtues   

Perfect surrender to the will of God        beneditfenster
This is our core virtue.   
  

Incessant worship of God   
both through prayer and work
 

Faithfulness in little things  

Generosity and readiness for sacrifice

Our Prayers

   Daily Prayer of Abbot Francis Pfanner

ff grave

O you Saints of God, 
obtain for me the grace
which I ask through the
Precious Blood of Jesus Christ:
always to do the will of God 
always to be united to God
to think of nothing but of God 
  to do everything for the love of God
to seek in all things the glory of God
 to realize my own nothingness
to recognize ever better the will of God 
and to preserve a spirit of recollection.  
    Amen. 
Seven Offerings of the Precious Blood
1. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ, mhaltarraum
     have mercy on the
concerns and needs of the Church
     and the entire world especially we pray:
·    for your greater honor and glory
·    for the spreading of your kingdom
·    and for the salvation of all.
     Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ
                 who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood

2. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ,
    have mercy on the concerns and needs of the Church
    and the entire world, especially we pray:
·  
for the mission of the Church
·    for Pope Francis, bishops, priests, religious
·    and for all your people.     
     
Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood.
 
3. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ, have mercy on the concerns and needs of the Church 
     and the entire world, especially we pray:
·    for the conversion of all people
·    for the loving acceptance and understanding of your Word
·    and for the unity of all Christians.     
     Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood.
 
4. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ, have mercy on the concerns and needs of the Church
    and the entire world, especially we pray:
·   for all governments
·   for the practice of ethical and moral values
·   that the dignity and rights of all people be respected
·   and for the preservation of all creation.
    Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood. 
 
5. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ, have mercy on the concerns and needs of the Church 
    and the entire world, especially we pray: 
·   for the poor, sick, suffering and marginalized
·   for those who are persecuted for their faith
·   and for all who rely on our prayers.
    Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood.
 
6. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ, have mercy on the concerns and needs of the Church 
    and the entire world, especially we pray:
·   for our spiritual and temporal concerns
·   for those of our relatives, friends, associates and benefactors
·   and for peace, justice and reconciliation among all religions and nations.
    Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood.
 
7. Loving God, through the Life-giving Blood of Christ, have mercy on the concerns and needs of the Church 
    and the entire world, especially we pray:
·   for those who are to die this day
·   for those who have gone before us
·   and for our final union with Christ in glory.
    Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Christ who has redeemed us with his Precious Blood.

 

PONDER Corner

March 2020 - Litany of Supplication to End Covid-19 Pandemic

 

LITANY OF SUPPLICATION 

to end covid-19 pandemic

We adore you, O Lord
True God and true man, truly present in this holy Sacrament.
We adore you, O Lord
Our Savior, God with us, faithful and rich in mercy
We adore you, O Lord
King and Lord of creation and of history
We adore you, O Lord
Conqueror of sin and death
We adore you, O Lord
Friend of humankind, the Risen One, the Living One who sits at the right hand of the Father.
We adore you, O Lord

We believe in you, O Lord
Only begotten Son of the Father, descended from heaven for our salvation
We believe in you, O Lord
Heavenly physician, who bows down over our misery
We believe in you, O Lord
Lamb who was slain, who offer yourself to rescue us from evil
We believe in you, O Lord
Good Shepherd, who give your life for the flock which you love
We believe in you, O Lord
Living bread and medicine for immortality, who give us eternal life
We believe in you, O Lord

Deliver us, O Lord
From the power of Satan and the seductions of the world
Deliver us, O Lord
From the pride and presumption of being able to do anything without you
Deliver us, O Lord
From the deceptions of fear and anxiety
Deliver us, O Lord
From unbelief and desperation
Deliver us, O Lord
From hardness of heart and the incapacity to love
Deliver us, O Lord

Save us, O Lord
From every evil that afflicts humanity
Save us, O Lord
From hunger, from famine and from egoism
Save us, O Lord
From illnesses, epidemics and the fear of our brothers and sisters
Save us, O Lord
From devastating madness, from ruthless interests and from violence
Save us, O Lord
From being deceived, from false information and the manipulation of consciences
Save us, O Lord

Comfort us, O Lord
Protect your Church which crosses the desert
Comfort us, O Lord
Protect humanity terrified by fear and anguish
Comfort us, O Lord
Protect the sick and the dying, oppressed by loneliness
Comfort us, O Lord
Protect doctors and healthcare providers exhausted by the difficulties the they are facing
Comfort us, O Lord
Protect politicians and decision makers who bear the weight of having to make decisions
Comfort us, O Lord

Grant us your Spirit, O Lord
In the hour of trial and from confusion
Grant us your Spirit, O Lord
In temptation and in our fragility
Grant us your Spirit, O Lord
In the battle against evil and sin
Grant us your Spirit, O Lord
In the search for what is truly good and true joy
Grant us your Spirit, O Lord
in the decision to remain in you and in your friendship
Grant us your Spirit, O Lord

Open us to hope, O Lord
Should sin oppress us
Open us to hope, O Lord
Should hatred close our hearts
Open us to hope, O Lord
Should sorrow visit us
Open us to hope, O Lord
Should indifference cause us anguish
Open us to hope, O Lord
Should death overwhelm us
Open us to hope, O Lord

-------------------------------------------------

This is the English translation of the Litany of Supplication used during the Urbi et Orbi on 27 March 2020 presided over by Pope Francis on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica.

Source:  Vatican News https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/litany-supplication-urbi-et-orbi-pope-francis.html

 

January 2020 - Faith demands worship!

FAITH

DEMANDS

WORSHIP

"As we begin the New Year, may we discover anew that faith demands worship. If we can fall on our knees before Jesus, we will overcome the temptation to set off on our own path.

For worship involves making an exodus from the greatest form of bondage: slavery to oneself.

Worship means putting the Lord at the centre, not ourselves. It means giving things their rightful place, and giving the first place to God.

Worship means making God’s plan more important than our personal time, our entitlements and our spaces.

It is to accept the teaching of Scripture: “You shall worship the Lord your God” (Mt 4:10). Your God: worship means realizing that you and God belong together to one another. It means being able to speak to him freely and intimately. It means bringing our lives to him and letting him enter into them. It means letting his consolation come down to earth.

Worship means discovering that, in order to pray, it is enough to say: “My Lord and my God!”, and to let ourselves be pervaded by his tender love."  (Pope Francis, Solemnity of the Epiphany 2020)

pdfFull text of Pope Francis' Homily, Solemnity of the Epiphany 2020

April 2019 - Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019

 

"Here is our mission: to go up the mountain to pray for everyone and to come down from the mountain to be a  gift  to all."

pdfPope Francis' HomilY on World Mission Sunday, 20 October 2019 

EXTRAORDINARY MISSIONARY MONTH

OCTOBER 2019

 

"Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World"  is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Missionary Month. Awakening the awareness of the missio ad gentes, and reinvigorating the sense of responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm, are themes that combine the pastoral concern of Pope Benedict XV in his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, published 100 years ago, with the missionary vitality expressed by Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church.” (EG 15)

 How to Live the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
There are four dimensions, specified by Pope Francis, to live more intensely the journey of preparation for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019:

  1. A personal encounter with Jesus Christ alive in His Church through the Eucharist, the Word of God, personal and communal prayer;
  2. Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs and confessors of the faith, as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world;
  3. Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological;
  4. Missionary charity.

Full Text of Pope Francis: Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World

 

cq5dam.web.1280.1280

Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019   Website  

 

People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving. As far as God’s love is concerned, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love. 

This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. 

Pope Francis

August 2018 - Life is a Mission!

Life is a Mission!

Every man and woman is  a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth.

To be attracted and to be sent are two movements that our hearts, especially when we are young, feel as interior forces of love; they hold out promise for our future and they give direction to our lives.

More than anyone else, young people feel the power of life breaking in upon us and attracting us. To live out joyfully our responsibility for the world is a great challenge. I am well aware of lights and shadows of youth; when I think back to my youth and my family, I remember the strength of my hope for a better future.

The fact that we are not in this world by our own choice makes us sense that there is an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist. Each one of us is called to reflect on this fact: “I am a mission on this Earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 273).

Pope Francis

Message for the 92nd World Mission Day 2018

Click here for the complete text 

15 May 2018 - Peace is the true news

Peace is the true news!

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion.
Help us to remove the venom from our judgements.
Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters.

You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world:
where there is shouting, let us practise listening;
where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony;
where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity;
where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity;
where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety;
where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions;
where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust;
where there is hostility, let us bring respect;
where there is falsehood, let us bring truth.
Amen.

From the 2018 WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY MESSAGE
of POPE 
FRANCIS

Click here for the complete text 

1 May 2018 - Holiness is the fruit of the Holy Spirit

Holiness 

is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life (cf. Gal 5:22-23). When you feel the temptation to dwell on your own weakness, raise your eyes to Christ crucified and say: “Lord, I am a poor sinner, but you can work the miracle of making me a little bit better”.

This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures.  Here is an example: a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbour and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone”. This is a step forward in holiness.

“There are inspirations that tend solely to perfect in an extraordinary way the ordinary things we do in life”.  When Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên van Thuân was imprisoned, he refused to waste time waiting for the day he would be set free. Instead, he chose “to live the present moment, filling it to the brim with love”.  He decided: “I will seize the occasions that present themselves every day; I will accomplish ordinary actions in an extraordinary way”.

 

From the APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE of POPE 
FRANCIS
on the CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD

(Par. 15-17) 

Click here for the complete text and available translations

April 2018 - Rejoice and Be Glad

“Rejoice and Be Glad” (Mt 5:12),

Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake. The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created.

He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. 

The call to holiness is present in various ways from the very first pages of the Bible. We see it expressed in the Lord’s words to Abraham: “Walk before me, and be blameless” (Gen 17:1)

To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case.

We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.

Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy.

Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church.

Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters.

Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus.

Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.

 

From the APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE of POPE 
FRANCIS
on the CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD

(Par. 1 and 14) 

Click here for the complete text and available translations

May 2017 - Led by the Spirit for Mission

LED by the SPIRIT for MISSION

Message of Pope Francis 

Commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself.  What does it mean to be a missionary of the Gospel?  Who gives us the strength and courage to preach? What is the evangelical basis and inspiration of mission?

We can respond to these questions by meditating on three scenes from the Gospels: the inauguration of Jesus’ mission in the synagogue at Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-30); the journey that, after his resurrection, he makes in the company of the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35) and, finally, the parable of the sower and the seed (cf. Mt 4:26-27).

Jesus is anointed by the Spirit and sent. To be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ. Jesus himself described that mission in the synagogue of Nazareth in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Lk 4:18-19). This is also our mission: to be anointed by the Spirit, and to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the word and to be for them a means of salvation.

Jesus is at our side every step of the way. The questions lurking in human hearts and the real challenges of life can make us feel bewildered, inadequate and hopeless. The Christian mission might appear to be mere utopian illusion or at least something beyond our reach. Yet if we contemplate the risen Jesus walking alongside the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-15), we can be filled with new confidence. In that Gospel scene, we have a true “liturgy of the street”, preceding that of the word and the breaking of the bread. We see that, at every step of the way, Jesus is at our side! The two disciples, overwhelmed by the scandal of the cross, return home on the path of defeat. Their hearts are broken, their hopes dashed and their dreams shattered. The joy of the Gospel has yielded to sadness. What does Jesus do? He does not judge them, but walks with them. Instead of raising a wall, he opens a breach. Gradually he transforms their discouragement. He makes their hearts burn within them, and he opens their eyes by proclaiming the word and breaking the bread. In the same way, a Christian does not bear the burden of mission alone, but realizes, even amid weariness and misunderstanding, that “Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise” (Evangelii Gaudium, 266).

Jesus makes the seed grow. Finally, it is important to let the Gospel teach us the way of proclamation. At times, even with the best intentions, we can indulge in a certain hunger for power, proselytism or intolerant fanaticism. Yet the Gospel tells us to reject the idolatry of power and success, undue concern for structures, and a kind of anxiety that has more to do with the spirit of conquest than that of service. The seed of the Kingdom, however tiny, unseen and at times insignificant, silently continues to grow, thanks to God’s tireless activity. “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep or rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:26-27). This is our first reason for confidence: God surpasses all our expectations and constantly surprises us by his generosity. He makes our efforts bear fruit beyond all human calculation.

Mary Most Holy, the Mother of our Saviour, had the courage to embrace this ideal, placing her youth and her enthusiasm in God’s hands. Through her intercession, may we be granted that same openness of heart, that same readiness to respond, “Here I am”, to the Lord’s call, and that same joy in setting out (cf. Lk 1:39), like her, to proclaim him to the whole world.

Click here for the complete text and available translations

April 2017 - Easter Joy

I ask of you today nothing else but to awaken true Easter joy in your hearts.  Happy those who are able to do so!  Those who have no joy and are not able to receive it must have some hindrance in their hearts.
The shout of joy: “Christ is risen!” informs me and assures me that the promises of the eight Beatitudes will be fulfilled – the promises made to the poor in spirit, the meek of heart, the peace-makers, the sorrowing, the pure of heart, the merciful, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and those who suffer persecution for His sake.

From a sermon of Abbot Francis Pfanner, Easter 1888

November 2016 - Works of Mercy

"In a world which has been damaged by the virus of indifference, the works of mercy are the best antidote." - Pope Francis

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40)

diacps1

September-October 2016 - Love, Devotion and Sacrifice

Love, Devotion and Sacrifice

(By Fr. Patrick Chongo, CMM in Dachau on 27 September 2016)

We have gathered today in this place, to walk in the footsteps of Blessed Engelmar. We gather here to experience the atmosphere of his days of suffering and torment together with his fellow prisoners here in Dachau. Although we cannot fully experience what he experienced at the time, since we are here at our own volution whereas he was not, and the context is of course very different, we have an opportunity to reflect on the opportunity we still have to make a difference in this world by our witnessing to what we believe, no matter what it costs us. On the cover of our hymnal today we see three words: LOVE, DEVOTION and SACRIFICE; three key words which defined Blessed Engelmar's time in Dachau.

Are these three words (Love, Devotion and Sacrifice) also defining my own life as a Missionary of Mariannhill ? A story is told of an old Carmelite nun who everyday used to go after lunch to stand in front of the statue of St. Theresa of Lisieux and say something to her. You know St. Theresa of Lisieux died at the age of 24. This went on for a long time and other nuns observed this old nun making these visits to the statue and talking to it. One day one of the sisters quietly followed this old nun and hid herself somewhere to hear what she says to the statue. And the curious sister heard these words from the old sister looking at the statue : "Little girl I wonder whether you would have been in that place had you grown old like me. You disappeared too early before life could brutalize you. You are lucky. Pray for me ". And she turned and left.

beu banner

Blessed Engelmar, born Hubert Unzeitig, on 1st March 1911, died on 2nd March 1945 here in this Concentration Camp of Dachau. He was just slightly older than the age at which St. Theresa of Lisieux died. He died from a disease called "Love, Devotion and Sacrifice". This disease would not allow him to grow old. He was soon gone. Young Fr Engelmar Unzeitig with 30 years of age and 2 years of priestly ministry, stood in front of parishioners and said I condemn the evils of the NAZI regime against the Jewish people.... and he paid dearly for this. He was arrested and imprisoned. Little did the regime know that Dachau Concentration Camp will become his new parish and that prisoners will be his new parishioners. Nothing could stop Fr. Engelmar from testifying to what he believed, both in word and deed. He died from the disease of his parishioners in the concentration camp. He died with them, while serving them. Pope Francis talks about the Shepherd carrying the smell of his flock. In the case of Fr. Engelmar's death, this is the ultimate example of smelling the smell of one's sheep: dying from the disease they are dying from, dying with them while serving them. For this he studied Russian in order to serve better fellow prisoners, who came from Eastern Europe.

 dsc5169Dear Confreres, we have a powerful example and inspiration before us, who now intercedes for us in heaven. Blessed Engelmar had a choice to let the dying die and look forward to hopefully leaving Dachau one day and go back to serving the Lord as a Missionary but his commitment to love, devotion and sacrifice, virtues he had acquired from his faith, would not allow him to do so. He decided he was going to enter the dangerous barracks 23 to serve the dying and he paid with his life. He had an opportunity and he seized the opportunity. We have an opportunity; do we seize the opportunity ? Blessed Engelmar, we now speak to you; you who are the Angel of Dachau, the Martyr of Charity, the Lily of Dachau, the Model of Charity, help us, with your prayers, not to be selfish with our lives and gifts, but to seize the opportunity to serve no matter how painful it becomes. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said " LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS, LOVE UNTIL YOU FEEL THE PAIN OF DOING SO".

 

August 2016 - Widen the Space of Your Tent

 “Widen the Space of Your Tent”

A tent ...

... is a meeting place; a place of encounter with God and one another,

... is a shelter, but a tent is also open and allows us to see the wonder of the stars and feel the spirit of the wind on the face,

... breaks down rigid barriers,

... needs firm pegs that can hold it so that it is not blown away easily .

Living in a tent calls for trust and risk, sharing and interdependence.

If we widen the space of our tent we will be enabled to look at our mission and our world with new eyes. We will see and understand beyond the “as we have always done it”; we will be able to broaden our minds, to allow ourselves to be influenced, to be exposed to the realities in which we live and minister.

May the Spirit of the Lord be our guide to understand more clearly God’s plans for our personal lives, for our Congregation and for the world. May God help us to have a deep trust in his providence and a total commitment to our mission, the very reason for our existence.

gch17 logo

 
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
make your pegs firm!”
Isaiah 54:2 * 
* This is the logo and theme of our 13th General Chapter to be held in Shillington, PA, USA on 20 August – 12 September 2017.

 

June-July 2016 - Precious Blood

 Precious Blood

“The blood of Christ never clots; it remains alive and flows warm through all ages.”
- Adrienne von Speyr

“The blood of Christ is the ransom paid for our souls. By means of the Precious Blood we have been redeemed from the slavery of sin and Satan. This is why we should have a fervent devotion to this unfathomable price of our redemption and try our very best to make it fruitful for ourselves and others... We have been redeemed by the price of Christ’s blood; all have a right to know who loves us so much!”
- Abbot Francis Pfanner

"Our principle must remain: As the Divine Saviour has shed His Precious Blood under severe pain and humiliations, so too must we make this precious treasure fruitful with sacrifice and self-denial."
- Mother Paula Emunds

(Sources: The Abbot Francis Reader by Sr. Annette Buschgerd, CPS and Lont nit lugg)

May 2016 - Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

This traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit can be a wonderful source of reflection.

Come, Holy Spirit
The first movement of this prayer is to ask for the Holy Spirit to come to us. A lot goes into preparing our hearts to ask for the Holy Spirit to come, not the least of which is to acknowlege that there is a Holy Spirt and that we feel something missing without the presence of the Spirit in our lives. This is the Spirit Jesus promised to send us so that we would not feel orphaned. This is the Spirit that transformed the first disciples from people afraid and locked in the upper room.
Fill the hearts of your faithful
This is a request for a heart filled with the Spirit. This isn't asking, "Give me a little bit of your Spirit." This is a bold request. We are asking that we might be filled - and therefore, transformed by the Spirit. No hesitation, no doubt, no fear, no judgment, no wrangling, no selfishness can remain. Fill us. Fill me.
Enkindle in them the fire of your love
Our prayer gets even more specific. We desire the love which only the Spirit can bring. We know it is a fire, and we ask for it. It is a purifying fire. It burns away all that is in the way. And, it warms whatever is cold. This fire brings a new vitality and courage. And, fire can be shared with others, without being diminished. Set our hearts on fire. Set my heart on fire.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created
Paul tells us, " So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. [ 2 Corintians 5:17] We are asking the Spirit to make us a new creation. This is more than a new beginning or a fresh start. We are asking for a transforming renewal. Our lives can be new with the Spirit filling our hearts. Give us/me your Spirit and make us/me new.
And you shall renew the face of the earth
When we are on fire and renewed by the Spirit, we can become one with that Spirit's activity of renewing the whole world. We can be the fire that ignites other fires. We can work to bring reconciliation, healing, true justice and renewal for all the people on the face of the earth. Let me be part of your Spirit's fire for all God's creation.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful
We acknowlege before God that the work of the Spirit is alive among us, enlightening our minds and hearts, helping us listen and discern with growing freedom and courage.
Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation.
So, we conclude our prayer, asking that this same Spirit will allow us to be truly wise - with that discerning Spirit - and to give ourselves to enjoying - that is, being consoled by - what the Spirit gives us.
Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come to us and to our communities.  Amen.

(Source: Creighton University Online Ministries)

April 2016 - A CPS Exsultet, Easter Joy

A CPS Exsultet
Mother Paula Emunds encouraged us to sing a new song (Revelation 5:9).  We pray and proclaim this anew in the words of the Easter Exsultet:
Accept, Lord, the spirit and goal of our charism, a flame divided but undimmed, a fire that glows to your honor and glory.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of our world.
May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning... as we live, love, tend... and, with you, continue to redeem the world!   (Adapted from CPS 100 Days of Lectio)

Easter Joy
The shout of joy: “Christ is risen!” informs me and assures me that the promises of the eight Beatitudes will be fulfilled – the promises made to the poor in spirit, the meek of heart, the peace-makers, the sorrowing, the pure of heart, the merciful, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and those who suffer persecution for His sake.

Since Christ rose, I know for sure that whosoever receives one of these little ones, receives Jesus, that I do to Him what I do to one of the least ones.
Since Christ rose, I know and hope that my body, though sown in mortality, will rise in glory, as certainly as Jesus who built up his body again within three days.
Now I also know that this word is true: “Whosoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have life everlasting."

Does not all this deserve that we shout out without end: “Alleluia! Alleluia!”?

I ask of you today nothing else but to awaken true Easter joy in your hearts. Happy those who are able to do so! Those who have no joy and are not able to receive it must have some hindrance in their hearts.  To experience true and sincere Easter joy means nothing else but to bring one’s heart into such shape that true joy is possible. Yes, true Easter joy means much more and is worth much more than sorrow over the sufferings of Jesus. To sorrow with him is good, but it is not yet all. Christ himself said to the women: “Do not weep for me!” To rejoice with Jesus means to have conquered with Jesus over his enemies, to believe and hope firmly and love sincerely. May Jesus give us his grace.

- Abbot Francis Pfanner (Easter, 1888)

 

March 2016 - Let the Flame Soar

God wills that a fire be kindled here and everywhere. But numbers alone will not set it ablaze. Each one of us must be a good torch or good fuel, so that the flame may soar and the fire may spread rapidly and forcefully.

- Abbot Francis Pfanner