Saturday, February 17, 2024

Parable and Conscience Meditation February 17

Glorious Cross  February 17

(The Crosier) gives prophetic witness in the midst of misery and suffering, proving his persistence in the difficulties of life (Profile of the Congolese Crosier).

The Cross of Jesus was not an isolated moment of his life.  He lived under its shadow during the whole of his earthly sojourn.  Already in the womb of his mother, he felt the problem of being homeless.  He was born in poverty.  Among the gifts given him at his birth were embalming spices.  He experienced the nocturnal terror of fleeing for his life.  He faced the tempter.  He did battle with demonic possession, sickness, death.  He saw the arrest and decapitation of his messianic collaborator.  He knew family rejection, unbelief of friends, political threats.  He did not have a place to lay his head.  He wept from disillusionment and at wakes.  He was unwelcomed and fell victim to several attempts at murder.  All that was prelude to his Passion in the garden, before the religious and imperial courts, on the sad way to the hill of the awful Cross.  If only his suffering had lasted a moment!  But the Cross is always a Way of the Cross—also for the disciple.

The persistent person always eats ripe fruit.  (Kusu)

Friday, February 16, 2024

Parable and Conscience Meditation February 16

Glorious Cross  February 16

Lord, . . . by the law of nature we have borne the likeness of his (Adam’s) manhood.  May the sanctifying power of grace help us to put on the likeness of our Lord in heaven (Prayer, Good Friday).

We can imagine that he spent his childhood like the others:  loved by his parents, full of innocence and joy, a good comrade in neighborhood games, curious about the world around him, a serious student at school, religious according to the traditions of his ancestors.  Maybe he had a turbulent adolescence like others did, but he arrived successfully at adulthood.  Certainly he dreamed, planned and decided to assure himself a good life.  That is why contracting leprosy was a terrible shock and overwhelming tragedy.  Now he was isolated from the village, far from his family and friends, a contagious companion of other contagious people, condemned to be a helpless spectator from one day to the next of the sickening disintegration of his own flesh.  He was not a bad man.  Perhaps that is why, when he realized what had happened, he left the other nine to look for the man in the street who had cured him.  The ravages of his body did not destroy the goodness of his heart, despite being a member of the so-called Samaritan schism.  This goodness, as a fruit of the Spirit, testified to a passage already from the old man to the new man resurrected.

Every river has its own power.  (Zulu)

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Parable and Conscience Meditation September 15

Obedience  September 15

But it shall pertain chiefly to the superior to see that these precepts are all observed and, if any point has been neglected, to take care that the transgression is not carelessly overlooked but is punished and corrected (Rule of St. Augustine, 45).

Who can be a superior?  The community has criteria and the following should be primary among them:
            --Obedience to the charism. The confrere ought to have a clear understanding of the charism of the Order and embrace it in practice.
            --Authority as service.  The confrere should be sensitive to the needs of others and generous in serving them.
            --View of the whole.  The confrere should have a global ("balcony") view of the community in order to promote the well-being of the whole.
            --Understanding of the parts. The confrere should know the individual members of the community and understand the practical aspects of the community’s life.
            --Future vision.  The confrere should have the ability to envision the future of the community and stimulate the community’s openness to the “signs of the times.”
            --Communication.  The confrere should be able to communicate well in formal and informal situations, with all kinds of people both within and outside the community.

Give the hoe only to the one who knows how to use it.  (Lulua)

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Parable and Conscience Meditation February 18

Glorious Cross  February 18

The Cross of Christ is a sign for us of his total service in love to all of humanity (Const. 2.2).

With Jesus, the man of the Cross, we are people of the Cross.  Our spirituality is a grace which calls us to enter into the Passion of Christ so as to come out of it, not only risen with him, but also as partners in his work of saving the world.  This commitment to his Cross leads us to participate in the sufferings of his Body today, to embrace the pain of all his brothers and sisters in the world.  We do that as celebrants of Jesus’ victory, with a strengthening message of hope.  Thanks to our own personal experiences of the Paschal Mystery as Christians and Crosiers, we have come to believe in ultimate victory over suffering.  Meanwhile, we help others patiently endure even their irredeemable sufferings and to live with sometimes inevitable human limitation.  At the same time, with unshakeable confidence, we collaborate with all sufferers to eliminate from the world everything that does not accord with resemblance to the Risen Christ.

Anyone who gives a sweet potato to an orphan also commits to giving that orphan a drink of water.  (Nande)

Parable and Conscience Meditation February 14

Apostolate  February 14

(The Crosier) is concerned about evangelization (Profile of the Congolese Crosier).

She seemed interested in religious questions, but not much.  Her concern was ordinary, the needs of housekeeping.  That is why every day around midday she left her house, jug on her head.  To look for water was not only the thing she searched for in her life and perhaps it was a symbol for them all.  But she did not spend a lot of time thinking about it.  In any event, that day she arrived at the well to find a thirsty man who asked for a drink of water.  The conversation between the two of them became theological and the stranger profoundly touched the spirit of the woman.  Convinced finally that he was the Messiah, she left the well, leaving her jug behind, and returned to the village.  Did she no longer have need of water or was her thirst satisfied in another way?  It made no difference!  The news became the priority and she hurried to announce it.  This is an illustration of how the work of evangelization begins.  It is only by cutting loose from every egotistical compulsion and satisfying the human thirsts from a redemptive source that one can leave the jug once and for all and run without being hampered to slake the thirsts of others.

A gun without powder doesn’t shoot.  (Yaka)