Dec. 6, 2014

On this first Saturday of the month of December – the commemoration of St. Nicholas – in accord  with the Liturgy of the Season, the Mass  was that of the Ist Saturday in  Advent.  Along with some of our Marist brothers living here with us, our Father Provincial, Fr. Gregory J Hoppough, CSS, was also present.

Promptly at 9:00 Mass began and the homilist was  the Laity group acting spiritual director, Fr. Joseph Henchey, CSS.  His theme was taken on “Charism” in general  – much in the modern jargon of the Church in this Post Vatican II era.

Charism was described  as a way of life, infused by God, enabling one to carry out God’s Word and to accept His will. This involves two aspects at least: that of cooperating in the Mission that Jesus received from His Father, and which He handed on to His Apostles – as  the gospel of the day [Mt 9 & 10] presented Jesus’ heart being moved by pity, sending the His followers out to heal, cleanse, the Lost Sheep of Israel. This for St. Gaspar Bertoni, is the Apostolic Mission.

And then, secondly, as St. Gaspar was an invalid for a huge part of his priesthood, we need to learn his “abandonment to the Divine Will.”

These spiritual movements  are epitomized in St. Gaspar’s heart as the Latin Vulgate translation of Rm 12:1,ff.: make of your bodies [lives] and oblation [‘obsequium’]   to the Mercy of God. The Will of God is a command in the Creation stories : FIAT [an imperative] LUX! Let there be light the “Covenant Formula”: noted in  the formula that derived from this: we will do God’s Word! This was later repeated by Joshua and his family  – and we are reminded by Deuteronomy: Do not forget, this Word was not uttered for your ancestors, but for you here TODAY!

This was then lived by Jesus: I have not come for MY own Word…Will…Gory – Your will be done… Into your hands I commend My spirit! The Blessed Virgin Mary, Spouse of Joseph, picked up on this = and her FIAT, an optative prayer. Mary’s FIAT was lived on Calvary where she became the Mother of the Church – as at Cana she delivered her message for all the apostolic missionaries of the world” You do whatever He tells you! [Jn 2]

For believers of all times, Vatican II speaks of Faith as an oblation of intellect and will – to carry out the Will of God in the acceptance of revealed dogma and  moral, and the requirements of the as well as in liturgy, spirituality.

As we have seen, St. Ignatius lived this in his Suscipe  [Sp. Ex. 234] – Charles de Foucauld in his Prayer of ABANDONMENT. St. Gaspar presents this in his prayer, to Mary:

Buon giorno Madre Mia….!
Please offer to God all I have to do and suffer today,
in union with your merits,
as well as those of your Blessed Son.
I offer you and consecrate to your service
all my being and whatever belongs to me,
placing everything under your protection.

Yet was agreed that the next formal meeting will be March 6th, 2015, Fr Henchey stated that a letter would go out inviting the Stigmatine Laity to our communal celebration of the Feast of the Espousals, January 23rd, at 4:15 p.m.

Father Joseph Henchey, CSS
Acting Spiritual Director

Leave a Reply