Discovering and rediscovering the spirituality of our Congregation on what is predominant, and looking back on the development of my vocation, I found out that both are very Eucharistic. They were developed and formed around the Eucharist.
In any journey we come to the issue of the essentials in religious life… the community life in the Eucharist.
Many of us have surely spent and visited many adoration chapels. We have heard of many miracles on the Eucharist, the deep insight in the writings of Fr Founder.
We have met and known many people who have problems and difficulties and their normal and usual recourse has been the Blessed Sacrament. They find solace and comfort.
But sometimes and oftentimes we religious we take this for granted. I remember a superior of a male Congregation once said: we have our chapel and prayer room in the community but I don’t see my brother priests inside – they are always outside.
One other time a priest was invited to celebrate a First Friday Mass in a school. After the Mass he was handed an envelope and when he opened the envelope back in his office, he found a P500.00 bill. He called the school claiming that he should have been given more for there had been many students.
Recently I met a priest friend who told me that there were many priests whose work was going around to celebrate Mass everywhere and anywhere – especially when the offer would be high they would go, even if the parish was very far way. Yet, it is sad to say that when a poor parish had asked for a priest or when a poor person had died, it had been hard to find a priest – but when a rich person had died, many priests were there. These are some challenges.
Life has its difficulties in different shapes and degrees and also our way of facing them differs. There are those who give up readily due to human frailty but normally those who go through the difficulty are those attached to the Lord, those who find refuge in Him. It is faith that saves.
I would like to end this sharing about the experience of Mother Nazarena on the first day she came to Avignone in Italy. When Father Founder introduced to her the nature of life, the hard situation, the uncomfortable ambiance due to lack of basic necessities, Mother Nazarena at that time was only 20 years old. A woman who had no formal formation and education – yet she was a woman of faith who had the courage to say: If we have Jesus, He is enough. How profound an answer!
In January 2012 we gathered to celebrate and relive the presence of Jesus – 125 years of nurturing us in our journey as a Congregation we pray that we remain faithful and true to what we have been called to live.
For Father Founder, preparation of the celebration of the Eucharist was of prime importance. Even the source of the host had to be clean and done well. From the Father’s soul we read:
Because I am unworthy and want to be always aware of my unworthiness of ascending to the altar, I mean to spend all my life in a continuous preparation and thanksgiving for the celebration of the tremendous sacrifice and for the Eucharistic communion. To prepare myself before the Mass I will kneel and pray for some minutes according to our Constitutions avoiding any talk and distraction. While celebrating I will pace the pronunciation of the Words… I will prepare everything before the celebration, after the celebration I will make a thanksgiving of at least twenty minutes in the Church or in the sacristy.
As we continue our spiritual pilgrimage, let us cultivate a more vivid love for the Eucharist by giving sufficient time for prayer… Time, events, persons and circumstances are contributing factors in the realization of our vocation.
Sr M Daria Ortega fdz