Fr. Provincial's Lenten Message to fellow Recollects

01 Apr 2015 Provincial Secretary
The religious of the whole province gathered at the Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Quezon City for the closing of the centennial celebration of Religiosas Familias. The religious of the whole province gathered at the Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Quezon City for the closing of the centennial celebration of Religiosas Familias. Photo by Fray Boyax, OAR



Prot. No. 0017/15
01 April 2015


Dear brothers:

Greetings of Christ’s peace!

During this Holy Week, we pause and reflect again on how and why Jesus, our Divine Master, “our Paschal lamb, has been sacrificed” (1Cor 5:7), and that “for our sake he was crucified…; he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day” (Nicene Creed).

“This week, Holy Week, which leads us to Easter, we will take this path of Jesus’ own humiliation. Only in this way will this week be ‘holy’ for us too!” (Pope Francis, Palm Sunday Homily, 29 March 2015). Let us re-discover how our journey with the Lord during these holy days, marked with unparalleled intensity and profundity of the greatest love story ever told, mirrors our following of Him in the Augustinian Recollect religious life. Let us try to pick again fresh insights from here in relation to our commitment to love: that, for instance, “even the ‘yes’ to love is a source of suffering, because love always requires expropriations of my ‘I’, in which I allow myself to be pruned and wounded” (Spe salvi 38).

Truly, this is for us another kairos moment that hurls myriads of challenges. This so- called Paschale sacramentum or “Paschal Mystery” is not just about past historical events “but an ongoing, life-giving reality into which we are called to enter everyday of our lives and especially during its annual commemoration” (Michael Foley, The Paschal Triduum [2014], 19). Therefore, “we as his disciples need to share, finding in it the rhythm and pattern of our own life… By losing our life this way, we save it and grow in our discipleship of Jesus” (PCP- II, 85-86; CFC, 575).

Pope Francis, while reminding us about “God’s way, the way of humility” and as “the way of Jesus” (cf. Palm Sunday Homily, 29 March 2015), wants us to see Holy Week as “a privileged time when we are called to draw near to Jesus” (cf. Twitter post on 30 March 2015). Quite meaningful for us, religious, if we view all these in the context of the Year of Consecrated Life! They surely reinforce the immeasurable richness of this occasion which allows us “[to confess] humbly, with immense confidence in the God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8), our own weakness and, in it, to experience the Lord’s merciful love” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter to All Consecrated People on the Occasion of the Year of Consecrate Life, 1).

“Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory” (St. Augustine, sermon 3). Let our spiritual walk through the highway of the Paschal mystery be like a “journey through the desert to the land of freedom”, a journey that, concretely, affords Christ’s special love for each one of us to bud forth more ardent commitment and more joyful service wherever the Church calls us to live and work.

May the anticipated burst of Alleluia on Easter give us true consolation—where con- solatio “suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude (Spe salvi 38)—draw us all to a new life through Him, with Him and in Him. May the abundant blessings of the risen Christ be with you, your community and your family.

In St. Ezekiel Moreno,

Fray Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR
Prior Provincial

Fray Jose Ernil F. Almayo, OAR
Provincial Secretary

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