Every year for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the Superior General and his Council address a letter to the entire Dehonian family, that we publish here. This year a sports metaphor is used to encourage everyone to practice prayer and build open communities: "To help us in our training, he does not fail to reveal himself to us in a multitude of ways: the Eucharist, his Word, and the men and women of every race and place with whom we share this story, especially those who suffer the most."
Visits to Entities of the Congregation mainly involve meeting the religious and their communities. It frequently includes collaborators in our mission and also to members of the Dehonian Family. This allows us to have an idea, even if it is basic, about the places where we are and the mission that is being carried out. The personal dialogues that we carry out during those days usually begin with questions such as: How are you? How are things going? How is your health? Thus, little by little, various themes arise, including how people use their free time for personal hobbies: reading, fishing, music and, above all, sports. The truth is that we have excellent cyclists, runners, hockey players, badminton players, golfers, soccer players, swimmers and walkers, many walkers. All this to stay in good shape.
In addition to this, it is best to know about what motivates and sustains each one’s life and work. In this regard, a question that helps us is: “Considering all that Jesus did and said, what particularly inspires you in how you live and in what you do at this time and in this place?” The answers I get produce a very lively rereading of the Gospel from concrete and very diverse personal, communal and social situations. A true treasure! In one of those meetings, a colleague told me that from the beginning of the pandemic until now he has focused on Gospel scenes where Jesus prays. In one passage after another, he contemplated the Heart of the Son open to the Father, sharing with Him the faces he had seen, his tiredness, praise, bewilderment, joys, concerns, hopes… In short, fully taking daily life with passion, exposed without fear before the goodness and tenderness of God, in whom Jesus trusts in all circumstances:
that the faithfulness of each member
and of our communities,
and the fruitfulness of our apostolate
depend upon our devotion to prayer (Cst 76)
It is thus that prayer, just like healthy exercise, weakens arrogance and strengthens trusting abandon. In prayer the disciple prepares himself in the most disarming way possible for what the Father wishes to happen in his life, in his community and in everything he does. Nothing else! For this reason, when we stop to contemplate the Heart of the Savior, we are invited to celebrate his life forged in weakness and in the renunciation of any other power than that of being son, brother and servant of all. It is in Him that we recognize the genuine model of availability in love, without conditions, at the service of the Kingdom:
We live out our union with Christ
in our availability and our love for all,
particularly for the lowly and for those who suffer (Cst 18)
In this way, in the Heart of the Redeemer we find the best ongoing training center. It is here that we learn to keep fit as disciples and brothers, attentive and close to the most fragile and needy people. As He teaches us, a healthy heart lives everyday life in continuous praise of God. It is a question of overcoming laziness and all that makes it difficult to joyfully accept the charism that has been given to us to share it in the church and in society. This supposes continuous exercise, often tiring, of reviewing attitudes and both personal and community rhythms so as not to be buried by what could be a fateful “it has always been this way”.
each religious shall often
renew himself in awareness of being consecrated to God;
he shall ask himself,
in the changing circumstances of life,
how to faithfully respond to this consecration. (Cst 104)
As we celebrate the solemnity of the Heart that loves us so much, let us continue to encounter the Life that He gives us. In Him and from Him we will find the best fitness we can imagine. To help us in our training, he does not fail to reveal himself to us in a multitude of ways: the Eucharist, his Word, and the men and women of every race and place with whom we share this story, especially those who suffer the most. With him, everything is an invitation to continue going out of ourselves to be in better tune with his Gospel and with the reality of our times, where we have to be witnesses of his unconditional love and renewing mercy. In this dynamic solidarity, embraced with hopeful joy, our hearts will be able to stay in good shape, ready to share new challenges and responses. With sincere humility, let us continue to offer our lives with Jesus to the Father:
My heart is ready (cf. Ps 108,2)
to listen to you and call you Father, in solitude and with everyone.
My heart is ready
to reject proposals that separate me from you,
like those of the tempter in the desert
or urging our friend Peter not to go up to Jerusalem.
My heart is ready to share life and possessions,
with the disciples and with everyone.
My heart is ready to announce in every temple and place
that you are life and mercy.
My heart is ready to rethink its own criteria,
learning from the foreigner who asked for freedom for her daughter.
My heart is ready
to recognize you in the small and simple.
My heart is ready
to embrace your will
and not the fear that imprisons you during the night on Gethsemane.
My heart is ready
to build the new community that is born at the foot of the cross,
with Mary and the beloved disciple.
Fraternally, in Corde Iesu
Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, scj
Superior General and his Council
🇮🇩 Hatiku Siap