Saint Gerard Majella Model of Christian Joy by wuzhenguang


									                                    League of

                             S t. G erard
                                                                                          SPRING 2001

                               NEW SLETTER
                                    THE REDEMPTORISTS • ONE LIGUORI DRIVE • LIGUORI, MO 63057-9999

   I    n 1975 Pope Paul VI
wrote a beautiful apostolic
exhortation called “Gaudete in
Domino” (Rejoice in the Lord).
                                Saint Gerard                                   Paul writes, “We carry every-
                                                                               where in our person the death
                                                                               of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus
                                                                               may also be manifested in us”
In this letter he instructs us to                                              (2 Corinthians 4:10). This
call upon the Holy Spirit asking
for the gift of joy. He under-
stands joyfulness as an instru-
                                 Majella:                                      paschal mystery, alive in us
                                                                               who believe, should create in
                                                                               us the resurrection joy even in
                                                                               the midst of hardships.
ment of evangelization.
    Pope Paul VI tells us, “This
joy of living in God’s love
begins here below. It is the joy
of the kingdom of God. But it
                                 Model of                                          Pope Paul VI writes, “In a
                                                                               mysterious way, Christ Himself
                                                                               accepts death at the hands of
                                                                               the wicked and death on the
is granted on a steep road
which requires a total confi-
dence in the Father and in the
Son, and a preference given to
                                Christian Joy                                  cross, in order to eradicate from
                                                                               man’s heart the sins of self-
                                                                               sufficiency and to manifest to
                                                                               the Father a complete filial
the kingdom. The message of             BROTHER DANIEL KORN, C.SS.R.           obedience. But the Father has
Jesus promises above all joy—                                                  not allowed death to keep Him
this demanding joy; does it not             It is a call for us to be a joy-   in its power. The resurrection of
begin with the beatitudes?”            filled blessing in life, following      Jesus is the seal placed by the
    In Luke 6:20-23 we find the        the gospel in such a way that           Father on the value of His Son’s
beatitudes. “Blessed are you           we are transformed into the             sacrifice: it is the proof of the
who are poor, for the kingdom          image of Christ. The gift of the        Father’s fidelity…Father…
of God is yours. Blessed are you       Holy Spirit, given to us in our         glorify your Son so that your
who are hungry now, for you            baptism and confirmation, is            Son may glorify you. This is
will be filled. Blessed are you        the power that enables us to be         why the disciples were con-
who are weeping now, for you           transformed into a blessing, a          firmed in an ineradicable joy
will laugh. Blessed are you            beatitude, a sense of joy to all        when they saw the Lord on
when people hate you, and              around us.                              Easter evening.”
when they exclude you, and                  In the waters of baptism we            So it is with us. After we
revile you, and defame you on          died with Christ and rose with          have come through a period of
account of the Son of Man.             him. Christ continues the               trial, we surprise ourselves with
Rejoice in that day and leap for       pattern of his passion and              the sense of tranquility that
joy.”                                  resurrection in each of us as St.       comes to us in time. There
seems to be a certain energy         remember her sitting with me          After her death I was going
and strength that enters our         in the waiting area of the            through her prayer books and
lives.                               airport at the end of a holiday       discovered several prayers that
     The example of the martyrs      visit. I noticed that she was         she favored. They were prayers
comes to mind when we read           looking around the room with          to the Holy Spirit for the gift of
the testimonies that were            a gentle smile on her lips. One       peace, joy, and love.
written of how their faces           might conclude that she was               The message and witness
shone with joy and peace in          people watching. I happen to          that my mother left me was a
the midst of their martyrdom.        look down at her mitten-              great lesson. Prayer to the Holy
This appearance of joy encour-       covered hands. They were              Spirit does bring us to that
aged many to seek out the            moving slightly in a circular         joyful experience of the paschal
Christian way of life.               motion. I asked, “Mother what         mystery that Pope Paul VI talks
     The gift of joy from the        are you doing?” She responded,        about in his letter “On Chris-
Holy Spirit is sometimes re-         “I am shooting blessings to           tian Joy.”
flected in the form of tranquil-     everyone. You never know the              There is a beautiful se-
ity, serenity, or peacefulness.      difficulties others might be          quence taken from the Mass of
There are people for whom we         going through at this mo-             Pentecost, called “Come, Holy
have great admiration because        ment.” There was a sense of joy       Spirit,” that is a good prayer to
of how they handle life. They        and serenity in her answer.           say anytime. It calls on the
encourage us in our own living.          I often thought about how         Holy Spirit for his presence in
     I am reminded of my own         my mother, who was making             our lives to comfort, heal, and
mother, who continues to be a        her journey toward eternal life,      bring joy to our hearts. I in-
source of admiration for me. I       could be so easy about life.          clude it for your prayerful use.

            COME, HOLY SPIRIT                                If you take your grace away,
            Holy Spirit, Source of light,                    Nothing pure in us will stay;
            From the clear celestial height                  All our good is turned to ill.
            Your pure beaming radiance give.                 Heal our wounds,
            Come, Protector of the poor,                     our strength renew;
            Come with treasures which endure;                On our dryness pour your dew;
            Come, you light of all that live!                Wash the stains of guilt away.

            You, of all consolers best,                      Bend the stubborn heart and will;
            You, the soul’s delightful guest,                Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
            Do refreshing peace bestow;                      Guide those steps that go astray.

            You in toil are comfort sweet;                   We confess you, and adore,
            Pleasant coolness in the heat;                   You sustain us evermore,
            Solace in the midst of woe.                      And your seven gifts do send.

            Light immortal, light divine,                    Give us comfort when we die;
            Make our hearts your own lifeline,               Give us life with you on high;
            And our inmost being fill.                       Give us joys that never end.
     It was a great                                        get through a          sometimes cut ourselves short
                               Be certain that
teaching that my                                           difficult period of    by thinking we don’t have the
                                   the Spirit
mother gave me on                                          our lives when         strength to live like the saints.
                                 of Our Lord
that cold January                                          everything around      The Holy Spirit is within each
                                is in you and
day. I realized that                                       us seemed hope-        of us. All we have to do is give
                                   wants to
a life lived in                                            less. At such times    in to his presence.
                                  act in you
confident faith and                                        we cried out in a           St. Gerard had to deal with
                                 as it pleases
hope blossoms                                              prayer of despera-     depression many times in his
                                  the Father.
forth into a power-                                        tion and experi-       life. It wasn’t easy to be part of
ful tranquility. The         The Spirit wants              enced heroic           a newly founded Congregation.
Holy Spirit was              to produce in you             strength to face       Life was at times very demand-
truly active in my            the feelings and             what laid before us.   ing and overwhelming. One
mother’s life, even              attitudes of                  The longer we      day as he was walking down
in the midst of her                the heart               live the older we      the corridor he was heard
dying.                              of Jesus.              become and the         murmuring to himself, “I can
     Pope Paul VI               Francis Libermann          more experiences       bear it no longer.” A friend
continues in his                                           we gather into our     hearing this as he passed
exhortation “On                                            lives. Sometimes       Gerard was shocked to hear
Christian Joy” with a very clear             we become sour about life or         this coming from the usually
statement about this paschal                 we can feel that we were given       cheerful Gerard. Catching up
(Easter) joy. “Paschal joy is not            a raw deal in life. This can         with Gerard he knew what he
just that of a possible transfigu-           create within us an attitude of      needed. After inquiring of
ration: it is the joy of the new             remorse. Negativity can enter        Gerard what the problem was
presence of the Risen Christ                 into our lives and we are            he made the Sign of the Cross
dispensing to His own the Holy               blinded to the many wonderful        on Gerard’s heart and gave him
Spirit, so that He may dwell                 things happening all around          a hug. With that gesture of
with them. The Holy Spirit is                us. All we tend to see is cloudi-    encouragement, Gerard was
given to the Church as the                   ness in every facet of our life.     freed from his discouragement
inexhaustible principle of her                    There is a way out of this      and resumed his usual cheerful-
joy as the bride of the glorified            fogginess. We can pray for an        ness.
Christ….The Holy Spirit stirs                increase of joy. We can choose            It seems that people loved
up in the Church divine life                 to live our lives differently. We    to be in the presence of St.
and the apostolate.                          can ask the Holy Spirit to flood     Gerard because of his cheerful
     “Thus the Spirit, who                   us with comfort and joy. This is     nature. What a wonderful
proceeds from the Father and                 the way many of the saints           example we have in this holy
the Son and is their living                  chose to live. Surrendering          man of God. There are many
mutual love, is henceforth                   their lives over to God.             stories of how he would do
communicated to the People of                     Our patron, St. Gerard, is      funny and silly pranks in order
the New Covenant, and to each                an example of one who, in the        to bring laughter to a some-
soul ready for His secret action.            midst of some very difficult         times overly serious event.
He makes us His dwelling-                    circumstances, did not allow               We have many of St.
place.”                                      negative energy to have power        Gerard’s letters in which he
     What a wonderful presence               over him. He chose to see the        encourages people to see the
the Holy Spirit is in our lives.             hardship before him as an            lighter side of life. St. Gerard
How many times have we                       invitation to conform his life to    teaches us to allow the joyful-
wondered how we did some-                    Christ. He asked himself, what       ness of God’s spirit to influence
thing that seemed impossible                 is the Christ-like response          our lives. “Be cheerful” he
for us at the time. How did we               toward the moment? We can            would say to a young religious

      “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” Leon Bloy
Continued from page 3

Sister who was having a hard

time because she missed her
music book with its favorite
tunes. The next time Gerard
was able to get to the city of
Naples he would find the music
and send it to the saddened
                                                   Heart of theMatter
Sister with a funny note saying,
“play joyfully for the Lord.”
     Taking a closer look at the
source of St. Gerard’s joy we
                                     From the Internet
find that it stems from his          Please pray for my husband and me. We are desperately
going out of himself toward the      trying to have a baby. We have been trying for two years. I
needs of others. Regardless of       had two miscarriages and I am looking for help.
his own feelings, reaching out       We are good people and we would be loving and caring
toward others always brought         parents. I have been praying to St. Gerard constantly and ask
joy to his heart. We could say       all of you to please ask him to hear our prayers and give us
the less we center on our own        the precious gift of parenthood. Thank you very much. I will
needs and wants and the more         be praying for you.
we center on the needs of
others produces the joy of God       Please pray for me to have a baby, I have been married for
in us.                               ten years with four miscarriages. I have been praying for a
     Let us ask St. Gerard to pray   child for a long time. Please help me to pray also. Thank
to the Holy Spirit for us that we    you.
may awaken within ourselves
the “joy of the Holy Spirit.”        Please pray for me and my baby. I am four months pregnant
     Pope Paul VI reminds us in      and have been told there are problems with the baby. We
his letter “On Christian Joy” of     can only pray between the weekly checkups that all will be
the importance of this Pente-        fine and we will have a healthy baby.
costal gift. “It is the Spirit of
Pentecost who today leads very       Please pray that the foster child we have had for three years
many followers of Christ along       stays with us as a forever child. Pray that all parties making
the paths of prayer, in the          decisions for his life keep his best interests at heart. I thank
cheerfulness of filial praise,       God for all the blessings in my life.
towards the humble and joyous
service of the disinherited and      Please pray for my brother's family who are in a crisis situa-
of those on the margins of           tion. May they draw upon God and one another for
society. For joy cannot be           strength.
dissociated from sharing. In
God Himself, all is joy because
all is giving.”
                                     From Texas
                                     We have previously had two miscarriages and believed we
                                     were unable to have any children of our own. We recently
                                     found out my wife is pregnant. Although we weren’t expect-
                                     ing this, we are most certainly grateful and happy God has
                                     blessed us with this opportunity. We pray for a healthy
                                     pregnancy, healthy delivery, and healthy, happy, spirit-filled

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