THERE IS AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE ENTITLED "PENTECOST DAY BY DAY" WRITTEN BY OUR WELL KNOWN AUSTRALIAN PASSIONIST, FATHER BRIAN GLEESON, WHICH MAY BE ACCESSED BY GOING TO THE resources LINK ON THE WEB INDEX PAGE. YOU WILL FIND THE ARTICLE UNDER
'PROVINCIAL NEWSLETTER 2013.05.15 pdf'
HAPPY EASTER 2011!
Letter to the religious of the Congregation
and the Passionist Family
Dear brothers of the Congregation and the Passionist Family,
A happy and blessed Easter in our Crucified and Resurrected Lord from myself and all the members of the General Council and the whole community here at Saints John and Paul!
May the Passion of Jesus which we will be living through liturgically during these days of Holy Week, and as it did with our holy Founder, fill our hearts and minds with a deep sense of grief and sorrowful love: indeed the Paschal Mystery, as we well know, lies at the very center of our baptismal calling and of our vocation as Passionists, both Religious and Lay.
As we celebrate the various liturgical rites of these days, with the many facts we already know and are accustomed to, we may well discover new insights, even year after year. As we immerse ourselves in them, with Jesus ever at our side, they may well provide material for meditation and prayer and have an effect on our daily lives. We may recognize these in the attitudes and actions of the various personalities who form part of the Passion story of Jesus, with their weaknesses and reticence and in the obstinate opposition of the Sanhedrim; we may be left aghast and bewildered at Judas' desperate betrayal of Jesus and then sigh with relief at Peter's tears of bitter remorse and the forgiveness he begged for and was granted.
Perhaps we'll be moved by Mary's strong silence at the foot of the Cross, her maternal heart torn to shreds. We may experience a multitude of feelings and reflections, perhaps leading to a decision to change our lives, to remove ourselves from the center of our own existence as we contemplate Jesus on the Cross. He showed no concern with preserving himself; rather, he placed others as the objectives of his own interests and love.
So let's take the plunge into the Passion of Jesus and attempt to re-live it in our own lives, in the choices and decisions we make every day, in our community relationships one with another and, if lay people, in our family lives. Perhaps we'll want to allow his blood to wash over and purify us. "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you," Jesus tells his disciples and he repeats it again to us at this Easter of 2011.
The Last Supper with the Eucharist, Jesus' washing of his disciples' feet and his declaration that one of them was to betray him, all form part of the path leading to his sweating of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, Son of God and son of man by virtue of his Incarnation, prays and beseeches his Father to spare him the chalice of suffering and martyrdom which he must soon undergo. He will be arrested and rejected by his own people. "If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you," will be their arrogant answer to Pilate, acting as witnesses to themselves, as if they were saying, "Our bringing him to you is in itself a guarantee of his guilt, for only we are just and correct."
"I found him guilty of no capital crime" Pilate says to the crowd. Weak man that he is, he nevertheless has Jesus scourged even while convinced of his innocense. "I gave my back to those who beat me," Isaiah had prophesied. Pilate will place him again before the crowd after the scourging, with a crown of thorns on his head. "Behold the man!" as if he wanted to say, hoping they'd show a little compassion, "What are you scared of? Look at what he has been reduced to!"
Thus was fulfilled what Isaiah had prophesized centuries back, "You are my servant…Even as many were amazed at him, so marred was his look beyond that that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals…" This is a final attempt by Pilate to move the people to pity, but their cry resounds ever louder, "Away with him! Crucify him!" Finally Pilate bows to their wish, - for political reason only – and hands Jesus over to be crucified.
Jesus will go up to Mount Calvary bearing his cross on his shoulders as if he were bearing the sins of all of us: "He has taken on himself our sins," he has carried us on his shoulders, a Samaritan and victim himself, healing the wounds of our souls with the ointment of his Blood. Once on Calvary he is relieved of the wood he is carrying and they crucify him; he is lifted up on the cross, between two criminals who have crucified with him. The message: he was just one more malefactor between another two. Only one of the two criminals who were crucified with him will recognize him as the Son of God and a king: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Such faith went beyond the blood, beyond the nails, beyond the outrage. "He saved others... let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him!" The repentant criminal has no need for Jesus to descend from the cross; he recognizes him hanging there like himself and dying. He will join his faith to that of Mary the mother of Jesus, to that of John and Mary Magdalene, to that of the Centurion who was moved to confess, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
Nevertheless Jesus' Passion isn't over with the outpouring of his blood: the utter solitude and separation from his Father tears at him much more than do the nails: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He experiences and suffers this abandonment by his Father so that we might return, reunited as the People of God.
Finally it is over, he has fulfilled everything: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" and he breathes his last. There was darkness over the earth. Afterwards, as a grain of wheat which falls to the ground, they placed him in a tomb and closed it with a large stone.
In vain the guard and all the soldiers, for life and love will persevere, the grain of wheat which was dead will sprout. It is Easter! Christ has resurrected! Palm Sunday with the Hosannas to the son of David now leads us to the Resurrection with the angel's announcement at the entrance to the tomb, "He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said," and "Why do you seek the living one among the dead?"
"Lord!" Mary Magdalene will recognize him; "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!" "Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?" the two disciples commented to one another as they returned from Emmaus to Jerusalem.
The resurrection of Jesus is our certitude that a new life is possible, for ourselves and for the Congregation, for our communities and for our lay families. The very process of Restructuring should be illuminated by the bright light of the empty tomb and the message of newness of life.
In all truth the resurrection of Jesus is an extraordinary event which gives us a sense of security; for what can be more closed as to keep everyone out than a tomb? That Good Friday evening all hope seemed lost. Or so it seemed... Then everything became possible, even for our own lives. It's important we don't lose faith and that we believe! For he, Jesus, has preceded us and now walks with us
A HAPPY EASTER! Let us recognize the Risen Lord as he speaks to us along the road of our present day and then witness to him with our mutual charity and our solidarity with the poor and needy and with those experiencing greatest difficulty in their lives and with society.
My fondest thoughts go out to our sick and frail religious and the laity of our Passionist Family who are living our Lord's Passion in their own flesh; also a word of special encouragement to those young men who are starting out their lives with us: be faithful to your calling, never turn back! Jesus has vanquished death… he has truly Resurrected!
Fraternal greetings to our Passionist bishops, to our cloistered Passionist nuns who accompany us with their prayers and penance, to all the members of those Congregations affiliated with us who share in our charism, and an affectionate memory and a prayer on the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Isabella Caponio, a most passionate lay member of our Passionist Family who will be celebrating her first Easter in heaven with the resurrected.
And I say it again, A HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYBODY!
Retreat of Saints John and Paul.
Rome, April 17th 2011
Canonization of Saint Charles of Mount Argus CP
Charles of Mount Argus was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on 3 June 2007.
PRAYER FOR THE INTERCESSION OF ST CHARLESHeavenly Father, you filled St Charles with your Holy Spirit. In love with Christ Crucified he spent his life in prayer at the foot of the Cross. From the Cross, he went forth to bring Good News to the poor, healing to the sick and dying, forgiveness to the sinner.
Look now on your people who cry to you. Through the intercession of St Charles, give us the graces we need. Heal our aches and pains, our hurts and wounds, our anxieties and bad memories. Free us from depression, habits of sin and all evil. Strengthen our faith, deepen our hope and increase our love.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
Passionist Family Group Movement
The aim of the Movement is to build Christian community through the development of extended families. With loneliness and isolation so prevalent in our society, there is a genuine need for people to know and support each other. Family Groups create an extended family atmosphere within the community and are open to everyone.
Our focus is on people caring for, loving and accepting each other just as they are and, in so doing, building up the Christian community. A Family Group is very human in the deepest sense of the word. The faith level of Family Groups runs deep.
"Matters of the Heart" - Our faith is to be human with each other, to love each other, warts and all. In these very difficult times that confront us, the world needs, more than ever, to return to the values of the family.
Father Peter McGrath CP
For more information visit: http://www.pfgm.org
The Passionist Family Group Movement can give us the strength and courage to live as followers of Christ. For details about the Passionist Family Group Movement in St. Joseph's Parish, Hobart, contact Maureen & Michael Ball on 6223 8373 or contact the Parish Office.
The four Family Groups in the Parish each have a separate activity each month. Please check with your group leaders for times and places if necessary.
The Passionists Insignia
The special insignia of the Passionists is the "Sign", the heart-shaped emblem you see on this page. It catches, in an image, the meaning of being Passionist.
In the middle of the emblem are the Words, Jesu XPI Passio. Written in Greek and Latin, the languages of the early Church, those words mean: "the Passion of Jesus Christ," (The three nails at the bottom and the cross at the top remind us symbolically of His suffering and death.)