I Ask You To Give Yourselves Completely to God

MAY 1992

My dear brethren

It seems that something positive has reawakened in our Community. Several sisters of ours have taken vows and several others are in the preparation phase.

When a person is determined to respond to God they cannot stop in their spiritual journey; rather, they are spurred by divine grace to give themself more and more to God until their self-gift to God is total and perfect. When a person reaches this point in their journey, it can be said that they are really living by the words that the Lord Himself had prompted them to say at their consecration: I seek God alone.

It happens all too often that the words we say are only words and we are not committed to put them into practice. The temptation of middle-class ease and comfort may easily take hold of us again after our initial enthusiasm; and in this way, our best hopes crumble, our most generous resolutions fade away and we settle into a mediocre way of live that is certainly contrary to what the Lord asked of us at the outset.

This danger is even more serious for us of the CFD than it is for those of other religious communities. Since our only objective is prayer and union with God and since we have no specific works, we are less stimulated than others by the need of commitment required by a life of works. We are thus more tempted to settle for a mediocre life without light and without passion.

You will have to forgive me if I am so insistent in my reminder to you and if I should continue to be so insistent in the future. I feel a great responsibility for you. You are all my spiritual children, children whom the Lord willed to give to me so that I might lead you to Him. But what exactly is my reminder in concrete practical terms? Am I not perhaps calling you to a prayer that is more authentic, one that expresses a more lively desire for God and that is the most meaningful part of our life? How can we settle for any less?

It is not about multiplying devotions. Prayer is more authentic the more it is one of silent adoration, one involving the lively sentiment of God's Presence, a Presence that penetrates our whole being and fills it with sweetness and peace.

Fathers and mothers, I am speaking to you as well. You can give no greater gift, you can leave no greater inheritance to your children than by giving them a good example, one of a prayerful and holy life. We are called in the CFD to holiness because our vocation is union with God. We need not be frightened by the word "holiness", as if it were presumptuous of us to desire and hope to be holy. On the contrary, holiness is the chief duty of our religious life. It would be ridiculous to think that our only obligation is to say the four prayers. God wants us to live His very Life, because He made us His children.

Granted, we are all children of God, but in order to live as children of God, a never-ending journey is necessary. We should strive to reach God; and we shall succeed in doing so by means of an increasingly lively desire and growing eagerness, by means of an ever firmer will to do good, an ever greater moral freedom and detachment from all that is not of God.

No, my dear brothers and sisters, we cannot play games with God. Only to the extent that we are sincere in our desire to reach God can we say that we have fulfilled what we have promised at consecration.

May the CFD be a school of prayer! May our life be a continual commitment to seek God alone as promised. Certainly, if we seek God alone, then we will be able to live, at least interiorly, our detachment from all that is not of God; our love will be more exclusively for God alone, who chose us; and there will be greater conformity between our will and that of God, who loved us first.

Even if we are unable to take vows, several specific directives for the attainment of God will continue to hold. These are: freedom from any attachment to things, an increasingly burning love for God that does not exclude anyone; one that allows you to love everyone in God, even your children and relatives; the gift of self, in a life that is ever more conformed to the Will of God.

What shall we do? Are we willing to renew interiorly our total self-gift to God? Let us not be afraid: what we give is nothing but the humble condition to receive infinitely more from God. Only those who give without reserve shall receive without measure. How I wish that everyone would experience God's generosity shown to those who truly give themselves to Him!

I shall pray for you as I do for myself. May the Lord not permit that we should disappoint the hope He has placed in us. May the Lord not permit that we should settle into a life without the flame of love! 

The Father
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