As we begin this month by celebrating All Saints Day, we are called to remember the variety of colors of Holiness and the luminous faces of them. We have begun the centenary of our Holy Founder and he himself promised on his death bed, “I will pray for you in heaven… I will help you and comfort you from heaven.”
In our life time, we suffer from various physical, mental, emotional and psychological injuries. The process of becoming a normal person, turning to Jesus Christ and experiencing his extravagant love, mercy and forgiveness, is like a course of rehabilitation which consists of pushing and pulling. Saints too had their twistedness and stoniness because they were human with their weaknesses and sins but they were very courageous to change their lives through ‘self denial’ and said ‘yes’ to the spirit and voice of God.
In the Gospel of John 18:36, Jesus openly declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Henceforth, His purpose was not to enjoy Himself or become a popular, miracle performer. But, He came to lay down His life as a sacrifice for sin, as a ransom for many. St. Louis Guanella would call his excruciating suffering “God’s providence” and an opportunity to obtain an extraordinary grace. Therefore, problems and hardships we have to deal with are tools in God’s hands for making us holy. The saints purified and accepted their brokenness and failures and showed their willingness to submit to God’s will. As Pope Francis says, “The Church is a vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wounds; this is the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners in need of God’s infinite mercy.”
Holiness or becoming holy does not involve serious study, God is not a topic to study, to make an analysis of, but a person to encounter and embrace. Matthew 5:48 states, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
May the constellation of saints above watch over us and fill us with beauteous light! As our Regulation number 27 recommends to us, “Every year, as an act of communion and a pledge of charity, each confrere priest should celebrate a Holy Mass for the Superior General, possibly on the anniversary of his election; similarly, it should be done for the provincial superior within the province.” Happy anniversary to our Divine Providence Province and a blessed Feast of the Mother of Divine Providence!
Fr. Soosai Rathinam