• 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

  • 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

  • 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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Friday, 27 November 2020 12:26

Towards a spirituality of freedom - a reflection


Phuong Vu 150By Fr Phuong Vu SVD

As we move toward the Australia Province Chapter in 2021, we reflect more deeply on our mission and spirituality.  The Australia Province is set in many regions and its ministries have many characteristics, but there is one spirit of mission and at its heart is the Trinity.

Arnold Janssen was so deep into the spirit of mission and it was led by the Trinity.  He engaged with the Trinity in prayer, Eucharist and Adoration.  A German bishop, Klaus Hemmerle, who was co-founder of the Focolare movement, captured this when he gave a conference to the Northern German Province Chapter in 1986, about the SVD spirituality. (McHugh Peter (Ed.) Analecta SVD – 63/III, entitled, “Toward a Spirituality of the Founder of the Society of the Divine Word, Arnold Janssen.”  Arnold Janssen Yesterday and Today, Rome 1998) 

Freedom in Christ 550 PixabayHemmerle summarises the SVD spirituality in this way: “I would like to summarize it in three, four, or five words.  The three words are Trinity, Spirit, and Word.  But from these three words spring into the open what is already there implicitly: Missio and Communio, Mission and Communion.  These two words belong together and can be treated as one.  That is what I meant by four words.  But if I use both terms, then there are five words.  All the other points of the spirituality of your founder, as the Heart of Jesus, the Mother of God, the Incarnation, and so on, are all derivatives of the main points, just as mission and community are.”  He encourages us to make a devotion to the Holy Spirit just like Arnold, who was so devoted to the Holy Trinity, because in the Spirit, the dynamism of God becomes ‘touchable’ and ‘visible’.   The SVD Constitution 401 states that: “Christ is the centre of our life.  A living union with him brings unity and gives depth to our whole life with its many activities.  When we love Christ, we are loved by the Father; Father and Son come to make their home in us with the Holy Spirit”. 

Hemmerle’s reflection speaks about our mission today.  Our SVD Australia province is missioned in many regions, but we are in communion with the spirit of the Holy Trinity.  The dynamism of God becomes visible in the poor, cultural and religious differences, and parish communities.  The love of God becomes touchable in our ministries.  There must be a spirit of God that compels us to set out and witness for Christ in our mission fields.  Prayer and devotion were especially important for Arnold and so we must devote ourselves to the Holy Trinity, then we can, in communion with God, pursue our mission.  

Recently, during every morning prayer I was overwhelmed with Zachariah’s canticle; “Free to worship him without fear”. It reminds me of an SVD Chinese priest in China who was in prison for 25 years.  He shared with me that when he was in prison, it was tough experience, but it was provident.  He experienced that his mission was shifted to a passive mode, that he became like a monk.  He prayed the Rosary every day and the prison guard was frustrated with him and told him to stop doing the Rosary.  Then he prayed with his 10 fingers and the guard was getting more frustrated.  He stopped counting his fingers, but his lips were moving, then the guard slapped at him and told him stop mumbling.  He stopped mumbling but he prayed with his mind and his eyes counted the line on the wall.  

The world can stop our physical body, but it cannot stop our mind and soul from worshipping God.  If we have the love for the Holy Trinity, then the spirit of God will guide us to worship God without fear.  It is only our fear that stops us from freedom to worship God. The Australia province is set in a freedom-based mission region, we should mission for God without fear. 

IMAGE: By Public Co from Pixabay