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You are here:Home / Family News / NEF 2016 / Family News - April 14th, 2016 / A word from the Superior General
Apr 13, 2016

A word from the Superior General

Father, not my will but thine be done!

A word from the Superior General

The Will of God is a fundamental element of the Gospel as it is of our Betharramite charism. If it is well anchored in our lives whatever we are seeking or realising, either personally or in community makes of us children of the same Father, and consequently brothers among ourselves, brothers of the beloved Son who is always seeking to please his Father in all things.

In his contemplation of Phil 2, 6-11 and Hebrew 10, 1-10 in the Manifesto, St Michael Garicoits is fascinated by the relationship of filial obedience of Jesus with his Father, as we can discover in certain events of his life where he is seeking his Father’s Will.

It is thanks to such events that we come to know the Heart of Jesus and what explains the reasons for his behaviour. He doesn’t exist for himself but for his Father and for the rest of humanity. Such contemplations produced in St Michael the conviction and desire that the disciples of the Sacred Heart should be men totally forgetful of themselves and hooked on the Father’s Will and the service of their brothers. This is why Saint Michael fought vigorously against “unchanging ideas”, “personal will”, “self worship” in those wishing to be genuine missionary-disciples.

There is more to the Gospel than simply obeying commandments. “There is one thing you lack.....” (Mark 10, 21). It simply means living with the fairness that the commandments demand; it also means being attentive to discovering the will of the Father in the different and changing situations of life according to the mind of the Gospel (magis). The life and teaching of Jesus tell us what these situations are so as to accomplish the will of the Father: be like Jesus living in truth and charity.

The will of God, at the moment of our creation in his image and likeness, is that we should lead as full a life as possible.

By creating us in his own image and likeness God wants us to build a human community like the one which the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit lead together.

At the moment of our creation God offered us this earth, asking us to take care of it, because it is the common property and because he wants us to share his goods among all mankind.

Jesus teaches us that we must not confront each other as if we were enemies, but rather that we should take care of all just like brothers, children of the same Father.

Following the example of the Word who became flesh we must get out of ourselves and come closer to the rest of humanity; and by the means of communication, listening and respect for others go out to meet them.

Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of God becomes more obvious in the humble than in the great of this world, in fragility rather than in strength, in our needs than in our pretended knowledge.

Jesus teaches us that to live as God’s children and brothers of all, we must think of serving rather than of being served, of losing our lives rather than preserving them.

Jesus teaches us that, instead of seeking after success, power and money for its own sake, it is more important in all humility to offer consolation, dignity and self esteem to the rejects of society so that their quality of life should improve.

Jesus teaches us that human relations suppose humiliations and we must support them so that the spiral of violence gets no bigger.

Jesus teaches us to forgive: to forgive means giving up revenge; it means being ready to lose face rather than winning the contest, rather than inflicting suffering on our brother.

He teaches us to carry the cross of our position so that we don’t become hemmed in by the suffering. We can overcome our sufferings by rising to the challenges inviting us to get out of ourselves.

The Risen Jesus encourages us to lead lives full of joy and enthusiasm, trusting in the Father who is faithful to his promises, always looking out for what is best for us and who takes care of us and never abandons us.

God wants all mankind to know his Son Jesus, and through Him to know the love He has for each one of us; and thus all can experience real happiness.

These are also the criterion of our vocation as consecrated souls: poverty, chastity, obedience and fraternity.

They are also the criterion of our Betharramite vocation: humility, gentleness, obedience, devotedness and modesty.

Such criterion are not just human values; they are evangelical, and to make the best of them one must be aware of and experience the “God is all! I am nothing!” of St Michael; to us it seems useless it is so hard!

Yet it is necessary if we are to live out our relationship with the Father by obeying His Will: “Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man”. (Luke 5,8). To know that God is everything and that whatever I am comes to me from his hand. This demands that I practice humility: without Him I am nothing. In my relationships with others I can recognise my limits and their talents, my values without making heavy weather of their faults.

I have been very surprised to come across the freshness of St Michael’s “God is all! I am nothing!” in three different passages in Pope Francis’s book “God’s Name is Mercy”:

“it’s another kettle of fish to admit that we are sinners. That means presenting ourselves before God who is our All and ourselves as Nothing. It is really a grace that we need to ask for.”

Gaspar Fernández Pérez scj
Superior General

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