General Theme for the Jubilee Year
General Objective for the Monthly Recollections
“Remembering the blessings of the Lord for the fifty Years, being grateful for the growth achieved through pioneers and contribution of all the members, we rejoice in the Claretian vocation and move forward with strength and renewed vigour to face the emerging frontiers after the example of Claret.”
Specific Theme for the month of October
Introduction: As the discovery of ‘fire’ has been so important in the process of human growth and development, so also the experience of a ‘self-giving love’ can overwhelm a person for radically self-giving choices and activities. To be ‘men on fire with love’ is the hallmark of the Claretian existence in the Church and in the society. This was the experience lived and shared by our Father Founder St. Anthony Mary Claret. In the autobiography numbers 438 – 448 he speaks of the importance of the virtue of love for missionaries, particularly in 441 he writes, “In truth, the fire of love acts in a minister of the Lord in much the same way that material fire acts in the engine of a locomotive or a ship…” Readings: Jer 20:9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. Works of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Vol. III, p.143 For love is so very ingenious, that it is not content with loving and serving God according to what it already knows. Rather, the understanding – keeping with the precept, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind” – keeps figuring out and inventing ways in which to love and serve God. Reflection:
1. Divine Love should be always the motivating force present in all of us, if we are to bring in effective changes in the lives of the people. This love engages us endlessly to be creative and resourceful. The experience of this love will keep us moving even in the desert. And, devoid of this love, we will be good only in appearances and expressions; but deep within we will be either tasteless or empty.
2. Our Father Founder has set a very good example for us of how to be ‘men on fire with love’. Excellence in manufacturing while at Barcelona, healing ministry in Viladrau, attention from the Queen and recognition from ecclesial authorities didn’t diminish the zeal that kindled in him. Even at the dead bed he was not sad that he was going away; but he was worried whether the missionaries have gone or not for the mission assigned.
3. Men on fire with love will always be motivated with different outlooks and standards of dealings and executing assignments. People in our mission challenge us to employ our creativities that are induced with divine love. Those who don’t have this virtue will give excuses of not having time or that the laws already set do not permit them to do something more. Father Claret saw opportunities to witness and share God’s love with the sinners, in the lawlessness of the Cuban society at that time and even in the confine of the palace.
4. Love is the most powerful force that can move a person and every living creature for the best. But, at times the immaturity of our emotions and over concentration to be in the headlines of the news can be big hindrances for divine love to operate in and through us. We become opaque and dormant; like the Vikram lander, unable to respond and so never serves the purpose nor accomplish the mission even after reaching such heights. For personal reflection: What good would all our knowledge of love do to us, if nobody employs us to practice it? What gain do we make by letting go those who needed us the most? Why do you think a mother puts up with so many annoyances and impertinences from her children? In our own situations, what are the ways and means we take in order to grow in divine love?
Fr. Phrimsing Rapsang cmf
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