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Wednesday, 29 July 2020 11:41

St Arnold's prayer provides a spiritual anchor for all

 

Phuong Vu 150By Fr Phuong Vu SVD

"May the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all." This statement speaks about St Arnold Janssen’s vocation and it could be a mantra prayer for Arnold throughout his religious life.  I believe this statement prayer has been embedded in all the SVD confreres’ hearts.  It is comfortable to all of us, it also motivates our mission ministries, and it nurtures our spiritual life. 

St Arnold JanssenThe spirituality of the Church in Arnold’s time was that the love of Christ could spread throughout the world and Arnold was so enthusiastic to be a Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that he spread the little prayer book “The Apostleship Prayer” around Europe.  The enthusiasm of being a messenger of Christ inspired him to move beyond Europe to the world and it challenged him to move beyond his abilities which were financial, support, education, and put in place a foundation.  The most important aspect for Arnold’s vocation was that he was faithful to his ministry and prayer.  From the beginning, middle and end of Arnold’s vocation, he was always faithful to his vocation and he found the enjoyment of his vocation which maintained him throughout his life. 

"May the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all" was Arnold mantra prayer.  The mantra prayer constantly reminded and motivated him to do mission for the love of Christ.  Arnold must have had a great experience of Christ’s love that empowered him to be faithful and committed to his religious vocation.  Spiritually generous, he shared Christ’s love with everyone, and he was willing to give his time and effort to build a mission station for the world.  By giving many, then he received many providential gifts from others, according to his needs, which confirmed for him that he was on the right path of his vocation.  It was like a cycle of mantra prayer and receiving of providence gifts which motivated him to be faithful to God’s mission.  His mantra prayer was generous, missionary and motivating and it became the fruit of his vocation.  Arnold lived according to  Jesus’ saying about the mantra prayer, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 7:21) The mantra prayer is not only for saying but it needs to be put into active mission, then we can understand its meaning. 

By reflecting on Arnold’s vocation, it challenges my own vocation, and  I ask myself, ‘what is my mantra prayer?’ It will be helpful to any vocation in life either marriage, religious life, or a professional career, that we should rely on God’s grace and be generous to others, so as to live according to God’s will.  Especially today when the new creation of technology and science, and individualistic cultures can mean that we are too proud of ourselves but fail to have faith in God.  By having a mantra prayer in our daily life, it helps us to focus our religious life and God’s mission.  On the other hand, it helps us to have a contemplative life and to practice our contemplative life on God’s calling in our daily life, because the mantra prayer has anchored our heart to God’s calling.  It also helps us to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with God.  (Micah 6:8)

Our vocation is a holy, sacred calling, giving us the potential to approach to God and knowing we are standing on a holy sacred ground.  We should value and nurture our own vocation.  The mantra prayer will help us to value and nurture our own vocation and, together with St Arnold Janssen, pray, "May the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all."