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Author Archives: Christian

1. Sunday of Advent: PEACE be upon us – an eternal dream …

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Thoughts to the first Sunday of Advent

Our world is full of small and large armed conflicts that cost thousands of people their lives or their physical and mental integrity. It is simply inconceivable that we humans learn nothing from our history.

In connection to this, you could consider the verse from Mat 5,39: “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” A wisdom, which irritates us immediately. Why do I have to suffer the hurt twice and become humiliated to get peace? – Not a few will ask what is that good for. It is no different than a wisdom that the ancient Greeks had already recognized, namely that of amnesty. There it was prescribed by law and executed in all its consequences. What does that mean?

What has happened cannot be undone, and we all know this from often painful experiences. The call and desire for revenge, retribution, and (supposed) justice is strong. But how can one succeed in escaping this spiral of mistreatment, murder, manslaughter, and ongoing mutual violence? It is a dilemma that has plagued human history for thousands of years and we see the best example of this in the events in the Middle East. War and suffering only lead to new war and suffering.

In ancient Greece, it was recognized that a new, untouched page must be opened in the Book of Life. However, this can only happen if all the old “insulting and hurting” do not continue to burden. Therefore “general forgetting” – the amnesty, was prescribed by law. The violation or disregard of this law was made under penalty of death or synonymous exclusion from the society (outlaw = was left to fend for itself), the highest of all penalties. Thus, amnesty can be seen as a kind of prescriptive forgetting. This requires tremendous courage from people in terms of size and tolerance. This is often not easy. But only through this pain a new beginning succeed, and a new, common life possible.

The Christian faith understands itself as a religion of peace. But what a contradiction do we see and read in the daily news?

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. This should recall the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. (Luke 21,25–28.34–36). This report on this triumphal entry is a contrast program. But these contrasts show us examples for use in one’s own life. It is the story of a king who comes as a low servant on a donkey, not in royal robes, but in clothes of the poor and the humble. Jesus Christ does not come as an earthly king to conquer by force but with love, grace, mercy, and sacrifice for his people. His kingdom on earth has no armies, riches, or splendor, but humility and servanthood. He does not conquer nations or markets; he does not want to dominate anyone. No, he invites and speaks to the hearts of the people, His message is that of peace.

Every peace always starts on a small scale, in ourselves, no matter what the external circumstances may be. Every peace begins or ends where the boundaries between me and my neighbor are crossed. If there is disunity within ourselves, it usually reflects outward in our words and actions. Sooner or later, this inner “war” leads to external strife. That’s why it’s so important to be at peace with yourself, “to function smoothly”. I cannot ask for something from others that I am not prepared to give from myself.

The essential step to inner peace is forgiveness. Only by forgiving others and oneself can the negative emotions be overcome. This does not say the acts or incidents were alright. Sometimes only the prescribed forgetting helps here. Then it becomes clear, what Jesus had meant with, “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” This can’t work without pain. It’s a tough struggle, but it works if both sides have a genuine interest in it. Peace begins in small steps and gestures. Great empathy and creativity are needed to resolve conflicts, as well as other, non-violent methods. It is a long learning process and requires emotional maturity. Let’s set off together on the road to a common peace on this first Sunday of Advent …

In this sense:

Shalom aleikhem as-salãmu ʿalaykum

peace be upon you –

La paz sea contigo –

Pokój z toba –

La paix soit avec vous –

a paz esteja contigo –

Friede sei mit Dir …!

 

Lent – Time for conversation

 

Time for conversion

from abundance to the necessary

from exaggeration to frugality

from wanting to be satisfied

from addiction to freedom

 

Time for conversion

from hypocrisy to sincerity

from narrow-mindedness to broad-mindedness

from self-righteousness to goodness

from arbitrariness to clarity

from fickleness to faithfulness

 

Time for conversion

from the I to the Thou

from alienation to closeness

from indifference to sympathy

from grievance to reconciliation

from hostility to peace

 

Time for conversion

from noise to silence

from hectic to pause

from impatience to serenity

from distraction to composure

from the surface to the essential

Tiempo de conversión

de la abundancia a lo necesario

de la exageración a la frugalidad

del deseo de tener a la satisfacción

de la adicción a la libertad

 

Tiempo de conversión

de la hipocresía a la sinceridad

de la estrechez de miras a la amplitud

del fariseísmo a la bondad

de la arbitrariedad a la claridad

de la inconstancia a la fidelidad

 

Tiempo de conversión

del yo al tú

del distanciamiento a la cercanía

de la indiferencia a la simpatía

del agravio a la reconciliación

de la hostilidad a la paz

 

Tiempo de conversión

del ruido al silencio

de la agitación a la pausa

de la impaciencia a la serenidad

de la distracción a la serenidad

de lo superficial a lo esencial

 

 

Lay Salvatorians in the modern world – 4

Salvatorian Universality in action

There are many different approaches to Salvatorian Universality. While the sisters and brothers of the religious communities see in it more the all-embracing love of God that is given to every human being without exception, we Lay Salvatorians seek a more practical application of it. For it is a truly universal instrument to give and make our neighbor experience the love of God.

As mentioned before, one of our most important guiding principles is the words of Blessed Francis Jordan: “As long as there is one person on earth who does not know God and does not love God above all things, you dare not allow yourself a moment’s rest. Continue Reading

Lay Salvatorians in the modern world – 3

Community building

Even if there are local Salvatorian communities in several countries of the world, we must now find a common path to the future. We are now a Private Association of the Faithful dotted with juridical personality recognized by the dicastery of laity, family, and life at the Vatican. This indicates leaving some fond and cherished practices and taking over and becoming familiar with some new ones. In particular, we need to pay more attention to becoming a true community.

In a true community, it’s not enough to meet on a superficial conversational level, make a little more than small talk, and leave out all the areas that really get to the heart of a person and bring us closer together. True communities have passed 4 phases: Continue Reading

Lay Salvatorians in the modern world 1

The world today

Since the Lay Salvatorians began to develop in the 70s and 80s of the last century, their image has changed a lot. While the first Lay Salvatorians were dropouts from the two Salvatorian religious communities, real lay people have increasingly built up the present communities. And with that, a somewhat different spirit or outlook came to light. Equal in spiritual content but differently expressed by life.

In the following I want to draw an image of Lay Salvatorians today now and how the development could go forward into the future.

The world we live in has a lot of different faces and with it a lot of different life issues and challenges. Living our Christian Catholic faith is not easy in many places and is becoming increasingly difficult even in those areas where it was previously considered traditional. The reasons for this are diverse and very much go hand in hand with changes in our values and points of view of society. Continue Reading

Lay Salvatorians in the modern world – 2

Contents
  1. Education

Education

In today’s increasingly globalized world, where challenges must be addressed locally and globally at the same time, basic and comprehensive education is inevitable. Even if some people will not like going back to school, our world and life today afford lifelong learning everywhere. It is a slogan but if you think about it more closely at all times it was necessary to face new challenges and experiences and analyze them. Without doing so nobody would have been able to survive at any time. Today of course in a globalized world the amount of information is enormous and increasing. But to be interested in multifaceted topics can only marginally be compared with going to school again. Continue Reading

Let’s walk in common to Emmaus …

Maybe you know this image made by Robert Zünd: “On the walk to Emmaus”.
Anyway, many of us find ourselves in similar situations sometimes. The day after high feast of Easter is a good moment to reflect on the words of Luke 24, 13-35.
We want to invite you, as single or together with others to share your thoughts on this text or what is moving you in the comments below. May the blessing of the resurrected Lord come over all of us.

Advent – a time of great expectations

A time of quietness, a time of recovering, a time of reconsideration, a time of joyful anticipation. At least that we should connect with the word Advent, even if the world around isn’t it. The concentration on the center of our Salvatorian being, on Jesus Christ, and our reconsideration on his coming into our world should fill our hearts with great joy. I know that the reality is talking another language. The CoVid19 pandemic still forces many victims, the numbers of infects are increasing again, based on new mutations of the virus. Climate change is also hard knocking on our door but many people do not react, do not see the signs on the wall (“Mene mene tekel …” [Dan 5]) think they are not touched by that. Are we similar to King Belsazar?

Perhaps in the coming days of great anticipation, you will manage to take some time out. Time to question your own life, to re-explore, to reorient, and to rediscover the center of our Salvatorian being. Let us not close our eyes to the challenges and signs of the times, let us together courageously find new ways of consideration and sustainability. Let us learn to understand how each of us can counteract the pollution, exploitation, and injustice of the world.
May the song be an attunement for you for the coming time. In this sense a reflective Advent and really a time of great expectations…

Go, you are sent! (A dialogue with the spirit)

A beautiful Sunday morning somewhere, – Pentecost Sunday! Just walking home from the holy mass. A joyful celebration, meaningful hymns were sung by the choir and the highlight a rain of smelling petals from roses and Pentecost roses after the Gloria. Still excited I find my way through the park. Parents are playing with their children, young couples sitting in the lawn, seniors are meeting their neighbours, everybody is in a good mood.

Out of a sudden, the last words of the mass come to my mind: “Go, you are sent”

„Hello my friend, you are sent! Do you remember me?“ an inner voice appears and start to talk to me.

I think: „Me? You mean, me? – Is that a misunderstanding. What happens here now?“ – Quite a confrontation develops with a long-repressed inner „relative“ (R) …

I’m sent? To what? To whom? – I’m only a simple Christian, going to Church on Sunday, meet fine people and friends there …

(R): That’s all? – Go, you are sent! Is there not expected more?

Sent? – What does it mean: Sent?! – I am not an ancient apostle in a linen shirt and simple sandals, walking over the hills and sleeping somewhere like a homeless. What a curious image? – I live my life here and now in the 21. century. Life ticks differently today … Continue Reading

Lighting the Way

Letter to Fr. Jordan on his Beatification

 

 

  Dear Fr. Jordan,

You are an inspiration to all Salvatorians and their friends who are impacted by your humble beginnings. You light the way for all of us ~ past, present and future ~ to be directed by your vision and mission. You have given of yourself to blaze an unparalleled trail in the community for us to follow with trust.

Your Priests are Priests forever in the Order of Melchizedek to serve sacramentally and spiritually. Your Brothers are bound together to serve the peoples’ needs and the Church’s directives. Your Sisters serve the unfortunate and marginalized bringing joy and hope to hearts. Your Lay bring their families to the Eucharistic Table encountering Jesus. They are fed spiritually, so that they may serve and feed the hungry of heart. Continue Reading