We are going to memorialize the 149th ordination anniversary of Father Guanella on May 26th. It is worth reflecting on his vision and virtues of the priesthood and, above all, of his aspirations, attitude and motto “a fiery sword” in the divine ministry. What was his lifestyle and way of holiness and perfection? Nothing but the way of the cross, self-denial, struggle and mortification- his 49 year priesthood experience was both a tremendous and terrible one.
We could analyze three phases of his priesthood:
- Before the failure of Traona (Prosto, Savogno, Turin and Traona);
- After Traona- the nine months of confusion and humiliation (Morbegno, Milan, Gravedona, Olmo) and
- The years of his adventure (Pianello, Como, etc.)
There were internal as well as external hurdles and difficulties Father Guanella underwent- a wall of opposition expressed in distrust, envy, suspicion, malice, and prejudice. He also faced disappointing divisions, conflict, resentment, and discontent in many of the communities.
What is the “key word” Father Guanella used? This is none other than “God is good”- trust in God and His Providence. The so called evil forces had been transformed into graces because of his faith experience in the kneeling position before the holy tabernacle which led him to hope and certainty. A month before his Sacred Ordination, Father Guanella wrote about the gift of Priesthood as the “Blessed and glorious and the most beautiful day of my life!” The anointing is for a prophetic mission and, like Jesus, suffering in favor of the poor. Therefore our founder served with dedication, divine jealousy, burning zeal, maternal tenderness and, above all, the goodness of heart. As the sons of this affectionate father, let us resolve to renew our enthusiasm and our conviction.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam