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IMITATION OF JESUS CHRIST

CRUCIFIED

IMITATION THE FRUIT OF


CONTEMPLATION

Prayer our support in the following of


Christ
... In prayer I fely urged to imitate
Jesus Christ... (Mem. p.350)
Prayer is the privileged moment of
Gods action. In prayer the soul puts
herself at the disposal of her Creator,
her Saviour her Redeemer.
There are no other periods and
moments to let herself be loved more
efficaciously by the Lord.

Gods love is always infinite and


unchangeable. But there are different
periods and moments for the soul. And
these are specially those of prayer.
Magdalene writes that it is in prayer that
she felt herself urged to follow Jesus Christ.
... I embraced my cross and resolved
really to desire to follow Jesus Christ in
such a way that, for the first time perhaps,
suffering pleased me, although I cried in
embracing it (Mem.p.358)

And examining her own contrasting


feelings she continues:
...I do not know whether I cried
through the joy of imitating Jesus
Christ or because of the conflict in
embracing the cross. (Mem.p.358)
The pleasure and the joy she
experienced in embracing the cross
were certainly a gift that the Lord
gave her.
When crosses come from God, they
are always accompanied by a secret

Aspects in imitating Christ Crucified


1. In the deepest humility
2. In total availability
3. In solitude and silence
4. In interior detachment

In the deepest humility


The Daughter of Charity having
embraced an Institute whose
principal aim is the imitation of Jesus
Crucified... (U.R. p.260)
... Will imitate Him in both the
interior and exterior virtues. (U.R.
p.34)

The virtue that dominates


and is outstanding in the life
of Christ is humility, and it is
of this virtue that the
Daughters of Charity
should make a special
profession.
(UR p.34)

The humility that Christ had as man


reveals and reflects the attitude that
He has always had in His relationship
with the Father as Word.
The Word generated by the Father is
the only Begotten Son who lives
wholly and only in the Father and for
the Father.

When he became man, He hid his


divinity from our eyes and received
human flesh from Mary.

... He emptied himself taking the


form of a servant, being born in the
likeness of men.

He lives totally and only concerned for


His Fathers affairs.
His life as Son is to lose Himself in the
Father and to live in the Father in a
total self-forgetfulness.
I live because of the Father. (Jn.6:57)
I always do what is pleasing to my
Father (Jn. 8:29)
The Father is in me and I am in the
Father. (Jn. 10:38)

In heaven the Word lives out His


humility as God; on earth He lives it
out as man.
If God was not humility, He would not
even be able to love.
The humility of God the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit is infinite.
Christ is the God-Man who embraces
all the interests of the Father,
completely forgetting Himself.

The interior attitude that Magdalene asks from


her daughters is that of seeking God alone in
imitation of Jesus Christ Crucified.
If Jesus Christ is the exemplar of holy
humility the Daughters of Charity must try in
every way to acquire and practice this holy
virtue. (UR p.235)
Magdalene warmly recommends this
indispensable virtue to her daughters
teaching them even the way of practicing it:
She says:they will hide their private
individual and common endeavors to reserve
them only for the eyes of God. (UR p.35)

The Daughter of Charity, following the


example of Jesus as well as that of her
Foundress is a woman who lives like
Christ to give glory to God and to fulfill
on earth the work given her (Jn. 17:4)

Question:
In what particular aspect of humility I
am called to practice in the
performance of my duty and
responsibility?

2. In total availability
...for souls dedicated to holy charity
the practice of perfect obedience
becomes absolutely indispensable...
(UR p.75)
... in imitation of Christ who was
obedient to death and death on the
cross.

Obedience is the most perfect and


meaningful expression of love for God.
To imitate Christ in obedience means to
have understood and embraced the
highest motivation that moves Him to
conform always to the will of the Father
and this is love. Jesus says:
I do as the Father has commanded
me, so that the world may know that I
love the Father (Jn. 14:31)

Obedience that does not have love of God


the Father as its motivation is absurd. The
human person can bend his free will only if
God, Creator and infinite love, is its moving
force.
Obedience always presupposes faith in
God.
I shall see God in every person, recognize
him in every event of the day, embrace his
will.

Magdalene says:From the perfect


holocaust offered by Christ the Daughter of
Charity learns to obey in the most perfect
way. (UR p.30) and she learns to obey with
His very same motives: for love of his
divine and eternal Father and for his glory
The expression of Christ makes it clear that
it is not the observance of the law to
produce and increase love, but rather it is
love that gives vitality to the observance of
the commandments.

Clothed with his spirit of love, every yoke


becomes light, and obedience gives love
itself concreteness and stability, while, at
the same time, motivating new growth.
Magdalene invites all her Daughters to
enter into this dimension of love of Christ.
Christ allows himself to be carried away
thus by the breath of the Fathers will
The Fathers work has been the breath of
Jesus life until his death on the cross.

The Canossian should be able to


close her life with the same words of
Jesus: it is finished and to enter
the Fathers house, desirous not so
much to receive glory as to give him
glory for all eternity in imitation of

Questions
Each one of us has a share of the
ministry to which this community has
been called to do in the local church.
Are we clear about our assignments?
Do we tend to pass it on to others
when its not convenient for us to do?
How do you feel you become in
performing the task, the duty, the
ministry?

3. In silence and solitude


our Divine Saviour passed much
time in solitude and silence
separated from the Apostles ... And
the poor Daughters of Charity,
precisely to imitate Jesus Christ ...
Need a most perfect silence. (UR
p.271)

The person capable of praying in


silence and solitude is one who has
consolidated his whole life in God.
During his earthly life , Jesus, gave us
the example of his ability and
capacity to concentrate in listening
to the Father.

The desert, solitude and silence are valuable


inasmuch as we place ourselves in an attitude
of humble and trustful attentiveness to God the
Father and dispose ourselves interiorly to carry
out his plan for us.
Total detachment from our security, the interior
purification by the Spirit, the stripping and the
emptying of ourselves to make room for Christ,
the living desert of the Father in which we
overcome every trial of the present life these
are the conditions to reach the promised land of
sanctity, that is in Jesus Christ.

The primary aim of the Institute, writes


Magdalene, is that of working out ones
own sanctification ... In imitation of our
Divine Saviour (UR p.270), because
holiness constitutes one of the irreplaceable
conditions for any apostolic effectiveness.
But in order to preserve in our hearts the
holy love for God ..., the spirit of prayer is
almost indispensable and this certainly
cannot stand without recollection.
Both need to be nourished y silence. (UR
p.270)

Silence for us is the treasure-chest


that safeguards two most precious
realities for the sanctification of
every apostle, namely, prayer and
the love of God.
Magdalene rightly recommends to
each of her daughters the spirit of a
contemplative at home, so as to be
an effective apostle among the
brethren to whom she is sent.

Questions
Is our premises: the prayer room, the Sisters
quarters conducive for silence & solitude?
Can we agree on ways regarding the use of
aircon in the payer room - temperature
range? Time? That suits and favorable to
each one and that served helpful for us to be
able to pray.
In what instance you allowed your silence as
the interior purification by the Spirit?

4. Interior detachment
... Our great model Jesus Crucified
was stripped on the cross of
everything except his love ...
Even the affection and the desire for
earthly things can be great obstacle
to the perfection of divine love. (UR
p.36)

Gods wealth lies in love and the love of God


the Father is so great as to give to the world
the person dearest to him, the one He has
loved from all eternity and whom He will never
cease to love: the Word, His only-begotten
Son.
He incarnates Him in the womb of a woman
through the power of His Spirit, allows Him to
be born with the limitations of human nature,
makes him live among us till our ignorance,
blindness, wickedness, and violence nail Him
on to the cross.

He sends the Holy Spirit on the


Apostles and on all men, open to
receive His gift.
This Spirit is Love in Person, one with
the Person of the Father and the Son
and has power to make of all men one
among themselves and one with the
most holy and most amiable Trinity.

As man, he allowed himself to be


stripped of his clothes, his blood, of the
ground whereon to rest his feet, of his
reputation, of the most cherished earthly
affections, and finally of his life. But he
did not wish to strip himself of his love.
On the cross, He was stripped of
everything except his love writes
Magdalene.

It is for this love that Christ invites his


disciples to strip themselves not only
materially from earthly goods but He
also recommends interior detachment
to them: Take heed and beware of all
covetousness the root of all evil.
An echo of the words of Jesus, the
Foundress exhorts us to detach our
hearts from all things of the earth.

... No matter how little the Daughters of


Charity penetrate the mysteries of the cross,
they will see that the strictest poverty they
might practice will always be a game and
nothing compared to that of the Crucified.
(UR p.68)
But detachment from things is possible only if
the heart and the spirit are filled with the love
of God.
Only then will it be easy to free ourselves from
thoughts of earthly things (UR p.36) to
follow Jesus Christ Crucified closely (UR p.68)

Question
We always want what is maganda,
masarap, and our favorites but are
we conscious at the same time to ask
is this needed?
In the choice of food do we keep in
mind what is appropriate?