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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 The 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 child.
"Saint Gerard Majella Model of Christian Joy"