Constitution 116: Confidence in the Lord who has called us The Gift of Understanding
- Mother Mary Michael used to remind the Sisters that because of the unity of the divine nature, the Father and the Holy Spirit are also present in the Blessed Sacrament, together with the Eucharistic Lord. Therefore, the mystery of the Blessed Trinity is likewise to be adored in the Sacred Host. She also had a great devotion to the Holy Spirit. Already as a teacher in Rendsburg she used to receive Holy Communion on Mondays in honor of the Holy Spirit. Later she would say: Whoever strives after perfection must let herself be guided by the light of the Holy Spirit.” (MMM 1 p. 25)
- The doctrine of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the soul held a special attraction for her. She often referred to it in her talks to the sisters, telling them to regard each other as temples of the Holy Spirit, living monstrances, mystical thrones on which the Holy Triune God dwells. (MMM 2 p. 118)
- Mother Mary Michael rejoiced greatly when a new Adoration convent was established because there was now a new throne set up where the Eucharistic Lord was not previously adored. The Sisters saw her as a spouse of the Blessed Sacrament. (MMM1p.3)
- Every day, Mother Mary Michael prayed the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart and she recommended to the sisters that they do the same. (MMM2p.128)
- One of Mother Mary Michael’s favorite sayings was: For a Servant of the Holy Spirit, every day should be a new Pentecost; every breath, ‘ Come, Holy Spirit!; every deed ‘Send forth your Spirit 1; and every heartbeat, Lord Jesus, send us from the Father the Holy Spirit!”‘ (MMM 2 p. 151)
- The indwelling of the Blessed Trinity, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus were the great mysteries of the faith that stood at the center of the spirituality of the religious communities founded by Blessed Arnold. He enabled Mother Mary Michael and Bl. Maria Virgo to see the wonderful inter-connectedness of these great mysteries.
- For Bl. Arnold the Holy Spirit is the gift of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Divine Word of mercy, present in the Blessed Sacrament, who makes us temples of the Blessed Trinity and brings us to the fullness of holiness that makes us daughters and sons of the Eternal Father in Christ. Bl. Arnold’s clearly presents this wonderful spiritual vision in his prayers: “Lord Jesus Christ, I adore you as the Son of God, and through the mediation of your dear Mother send me the Holy Spirit out of the fullness of your loving Heart. May He enlighten my ignorance, sanctify my sinful heart and confirm me in your love. This I ask of you through the love of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit, through your infinite mercy, and the merits of all your saints. Amen.” and Lord Jesus, send us from the Father the Holy Spirit the Consoler; may this Spirit everywhere glorify you and the Father in us and through us. Amen.”
- Like Mother Mary Michael, Bl. Maria Virgo wonderfully reflected the spiritual vision of Bl. Arnold in her own life and in the spiritual heritage that she passed on to the Sisters.
- On June 3 1886 Bl. Maria Virgo made the Consecration to the Sacred Heart by which the first SVD priests bound themselves to the Missionary Society in Steyl. (BMVp.24)
- In the midst of all difficulties, Bl. Maria Virgo took refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. She wrote: “I often beg the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to send me the Holy Spirit, that he may be active in me and work at my perfection.” (BMV p. 68)
- Bl. Maria Virgo understood her own life as becoming like the Heart of Jesus and his sacrificial surrender to the Father. That was the source of her strength and her consolation. She wrote: “Every day I will offer myself to the heavenly Father as a perfect holocaust in union with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, so that he may dispose of me according to his pleasure. The most holy will of God shall be my will forever and always.” (BMVp.66)
- In the same way that Jesus sacrificed his life to the Father in the Holy Spirit, that we might have life, Bl. Maria Virgo’s life is one single and yet constantly new participation in this surrender of Jesus to the Father for humankind. Out of this daily, even hourly, surrender, she trusted that by God’s mercy, life and joy would flow into the community, just as new life bursts forth from the grain of wheat that dies. (BMV p. 156)
- The bliss of the Father and the Son consists in the mutual contemplation, recognition and self-giving in infinite, eternal love that is the Holy Spirit. For both Mother Mary Michael and Bl. Maria Virgo, the gift of understanding, which gives us an intuitive perception of the mysteries of faith, enabled them not only to believe in the mystery of the indwelling Trinity and rest deep in the heart of God but also to see it as the horizon which must guide life together in community.
- Conscious of this wonderful understanding of the indwelling Trinity that is your spiritual heritage from Bl. Arnold, Mother Mary Michael and Bl. Maria Virgo, let us recall the Prayer to the Blessed Trinity of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity:
O My God, Trinity whom I adore! Help me to become wholly forgetful of self, that I may be immovably rooted in You, as changeless and calm as though my soul were already in eternity. May nothing disturb my peace or draw me forth from You, O my unchanging Lord, but may I, at every moment, penetrate more deeply into the depths of your mystery! Establish my soul in peace; make it your heaven, your cherished abode, and the place of your rest. Let me never leave you alone, but remain ever there, all absorbed in You, in living faith, plunged in adoration, and wholly yielded up to your creative action! Oh, my Christ whom I love! Crucified for love! Would that I might be the bride of your heart! Would that I might cover you with glory and love you. . .even until I die of love! Yet I realize my weakness and beseech you to clothe me with yourself to identify my soul with all the movements of your own. Immerse me in yourself; possess me wholly; substitute yourself for me, that my life may be but a radiance of your life. Enter my soul as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior!
O eternal Word, utterance of my God! I long to spend my life in listening to you, to become wholly ‘teachable’, that I may learn all from you! Through all darkness, all privations, all helplessness, I yearn to keep my eyes ever upon you, and to dwell beneath your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may be unable to withdraw myself from your rays! O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love! Come down into me and reproduce in me, as it were, an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to him a super-added humanity, wherein he may renew all his mystery! And you, O Father, bend down towards your poor little creature and overshadow her, beholding in her none other than your beloved Son in whom you are well pleased.
O my Three, my all, my beatitude, infinite solitude, immensity wherein I lose myself! I yield myself to you as your prey. Immerse yourself in me that I may be immersed in you, until I depart to contemplate in your light the abyss of your greatness!