• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:53

Rare as we are, the Church today needs Religious to be authentic prophets

 

Henry Headshot 2019 150 Light backgroundIs religious life dying or is it simply changing? I pondered this question again recently as I presided at the final vows of two of our young missionaries who are giving themselves freely and joyfully to a life which, let’s face it, is slightly out of vogue.

I believe it’s changing, rather than dying, and while change is always uncomfortable and challenging, it usually leads us to new growth and, in this case, I believe, to greater authenticity.

The need for authenticity in religious life has never been greater than it is in our times, as revelations of abuse of children, scandals and corruption at the highest level continue to rock the Church, leaving many believers angry and betrayed.

I believe that religious life today is undergoing an immense testing, purification or pruning; a clarification which will serve to make it again a thing of challenge, prophecy, importance, witness and indeed, a thing of beauty.

What we are witnessing today is not the death of religious life, as some pessimists claim, but a change, or, as Canadian priest and author, Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI rightly puts it, a metamorphosis, a paschal passage, a painful but fruitful wandering through the desert that has brought us to the edges of the promised land.

A religious life is being born within which there will be fewer numbers, but greater authentic witness.

Pope Francis takes every opportunity to challenge and denounce any temptation to compromise the evangelical way of life through things such as clericalism and elitism, as well as mediocrity or narcissism. His constant call to us religious to be less concerned with ourselves and to be more outward looking, encourages us to walk with our people in the ambiguities and complexities of their lives.

As religious and missionaries, we need to be at the forefront of a Church that is both humble and prophetic; a Church that brings the margins to the centre; a Church with the poor and for the poor; a missionary for today’s Church and today’s world is like Christ among the marginalised, the sick and sinner. It is like new wine in new wineskins.

Rare as we may be, the Church today needs us religious to be prophets – that is, people who not only speak the truth about God’s love, but people who live that truth every day of their lives. If we help others find the Lord through us and our prophetic witness, then we will be signs of God’s presence in the world.

Yours in the Word,

Fr Henry Adler SVD,

Provincial.

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