Blog di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA – Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa MISSIONARY ONGOING FORMATION – A missionary look on the life of the world and the church
We ask you, God of grace and eternal life, to increase and strengthen hope in us. Give us this virtue of the strong, this power of the confident, this courage of the unshakable. Make us always have a longing for you, the infinite plenitude of being. Make us always build on you and your fidelity, always hold fast without despondency to your might. Make us to be of this mind and produce this attitude in us by your Holy Spirit. Then, our Lord and God, we shall have the virtue of hope. Then we can courageously set about the task of our life again and again. Then we shall be animated by the joyful confidence that we are not working in vain. Then we shall do our work in the knowledge that in us and through us and, where our powers fail, without us, you the almighty according to your good pleasure are working to your honor and our salvation. Strengthen your hope in us.
The hope of eternity, however, eternal God, is your only-begotten Son. He possesses your infinite nature from eternity to eternity, because you have communicated it to him and ever communicate it, in eternal generation. He therefore possesses all that we hope and desire. He is wisdom and power, beauty and goodness, life and glory, he is all in all. And he, this Son to whom you have given all, has become ours. He became man. Your eternal Word, God of glory, became man, became like one of us, humbled himself and took human form, a human body, a human soul, a human life, a human lot even in its most terrible possibilities. Your Son, Heavenly Father, truly became man. We kneel in adoration. For who can measure this incomprehensible love of yours? You have loved the world so much that men take offence at your love and call the affirmation of the incarnation of your Son folly and madness. But we believe in the incomprehensibility, the overwhelming audacity of your love. And because we believe, we can exult in blessed hope: Christ in us is the hope of glory. For if you give us your Son, what can there be you have held back, what can there be which you have refused us? If we possess your Son to whom you have given everything, your own substance, what could still be lacking to us? And he is truly ours. For he is the son of Mary, who is our sister in Adam, he is a child of Adam’s family, of the same race as we are, one in substance and origin with man. And if we human beings in your plans and according to your will as creator are all to form a great community of descent and destiny, and if your Son is to belong to this one great community, then we, precisely we poor children of Eve, share the race and lot of your own Son. We are brothers of the only-begotten, the brethren of your Son, co-heirs of his glory. We share in his grace, in his Spirit, in his life, in his destiny through cross and glorification, in his eternal glory. It is no longer we who live our life but Christ our brother lives his life in us and through us. We are ready, Father of Jesus Christ and our Father, to share in the life of your Son. Dispose of our life, make it conformable to the life of your Son. He wills to continue his own life in us until the end of time, he wills to reveal in us and in our life the glory, the greatness, beauty, and the blessed power of his life. What meets us in life is not chance, is not blind fate but is a part of the life of your Son. The joy we shall receive as Christ’s joy, success as his success, pain as his pain, sorrow as his sorrow, work as his work, death as a sharing in his death.
In one respect we ask especially for your grace. Make us share in Jesus’s prayer. He is the great worshiper of God in spirit and in truth, he is the mediator through whom alone our prayer can reach to the throne of grace. We wish to pray in him, united with his prayer. May he, with whom we are united in his Spirit, teach us to pray. May he teach us to pray as he himself prayed, to pray at all times and not to slacken, to pray perseveringly, confidently, humbly, in spirit and in truth, with true love of our neighbor without which no prayer is pleasing to you. May he teach us to pray for what he prayed: that your name may be hallowed, your will be done, your kingdom come to us, for only if we first pray in that way for your honor will you also hear us if we pray for ourselves, our Earthly well-being and Earthly cares. Give us the spirit of prayer, of recollection, of union with God. Lord accept my poor heart. It is often so far from you. It is like a wasteland without water, lost in the innumerable things and trifles that fill my everyday life. Only you, Lord can focus my heart on you, who are the center of all hearts and the Lord of every soul. Only you can give the spirit of prayer, only your grace is capable of granting me to find you through the multiplicity of things and the distraction of mind of everyday routine, you the one thing necessary, the one thing in which my heart can rest. May your Spirit come to the help of my weakness, and when we do not know what we should ask, may he intercede for us with inexpressible sighs, and you who know men’s hearts will hear what your Spirit interceding for us desires in us.
Finally, however, I ask you for the hardest and most difficult, for the grace to recognize the cross of your Son in all the suffering of my life, to adore your holy and inscrutable will in it, to follow your Son on his way to the cross as long as it may please you. Make me sensitive in what concerns your honor and not
merely for my own well-being, and then I also will be able to carry many a cross as atonement for my sins. Do not let me be embittered by suffering but mature, patient, selfless, gentle, and filled with longing for that land where there is no pain and for that day when you will wipe all tears from the eyes of those who have loved you and in sorrow have believed in your love and in darkness have believed in your light. Let my pain be a profession of my faith in your promises, a profession of my hope in your goodness and fidelity, a profession of my love, that I love you more than myself, that I love you for your own sake even without reward. May the cross of my Lord be my model, my power, my consolation, the solution of all obscure questions, the light of every darkness. Grant that we may glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant us to become so mature in true Christian being and life that we no longer regard the cross as a misfortune and incomprehensible meaninglessness but as a sign of your election, as the secret, sure sign that we are yours for ever. For it is a faithful saying that if we die with him we shall also live with him and if we endure with him, we shall also reign with him. Father, we will to share everything with your Son, his life, his divine glory, and therefore his suffering and his death. Only with the cross, give the strength to bear it. Cause us to experience in the cross its blessing also. Give us the cross which your wisdom knows is for our salvation and not our ruin.
Son of the Father, Christ who lives in us, you are our hope of glory. Live in us, bring our life under the laws of your life, make our life like to yours. Live in me, pray in me, suffer in me, more I do not ask. For if I have you I am rich; those who find your have found the power and the victory of their life.