Our spirituality plays a vital role in our responsibility to transform the world with compassion

Author: Arnoldus Nota
Subject: Spirituality
Language: English, Spanish
Publisher: Arnoldus Nota
Year: 2022
Sr. Maria Magdalena Kruse, SSpSAP
Sr. Maria Magdalena Kruse, SSpSAP

Our spirituality plays a vital role in our responsibility to transform the world with compassion
Arnoldus Nota had the singular opportunity to talk with Mother General, Maria Magdalena Kruse, during her Collegio del Verbo Divino visit. The Editor of Arnoldus Nota conversed with the Mother General of the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration amicably. She also expressed her willingness to share the highlights of this conversation. 

Arnoldus Nota: The theme of the SSpS General Chapter is “Immersed in the Life of the Trinity, Transforming the World with Compassion. “How to live the Trinity, what, O Holy Spirit do you wish to offer to the world through us. Taking into account the theme of the Chapter, what was your message to the SSpS Capitulars? 

    I told them that I was very impressed when I learned about the theme, and I was thinking of Pope Francis. I told them Pope Francis would surely like it, and Mother Helena came to mind also. Indeed, she would have appreciated the theme. This theme was close to her before she wanted to go to China. I congratulated the Sisters on this spirit-filled theme. This is a theme that the world needs today and is very actual. 

Arnoldus Nota: Considering your charism as Perpetual Adoration Sisters, how do you immerse yourself into the Trinity, how do you live the Trinity? 

    There are two aspects to bear in mind. First, I think of adoration. We adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Blessed Sacrament. That is a part of our daily life. We also live in a community. The Trinity is an example of community, so we try to live up to that. And when we are challenged as a community, we always try to remember again and again to love one another, forgive, and try to be united. 

Arnoldus Nota: Perhaps one would be very curious to ask Sisters like you, living a contemplative life, how you transform the world with compassion? 

    This is undoubtedly through our prayer. Prayer is not separated and apart from the world. We take the whole world into our prayer and bring it before Him. I think that is the kind of transformation. We don’t see, and we don’t know what God is doing and will do. But I believe in the power of prayer. 

    We are also in contact with many people. They are writing us letters and sharing about their problems and their difficulties. They are asking for prayers, and we answer those letters. We assure them of our prayers. Of course, we also give straightforward advice, but that is not the most important thing. People want to know, hear, and read that the Sisters are praying for them. 

    People come to our convent. They ring the bell and ask that our Sisters talk to them. So our Sisters go to the reception room and personally listen to them, their problems, their suffering. We try to show compassion by listening to them, and they receive consolation from our promise to pray for them. 

    Our spirituality plays an essential role in our responsibility to transform the world with compassion. My relation to people mirrors my connection to God as I relate to God. When I am close to God, when I love Him and am willing to give my life to Him, it means I can influence the world. I do not know how but the Lord knows how to do that. 

Arnoldus Nota: The SSpSAp Congregation has changed in these 125 years. You singled out its international character with richness, joys, and challenges. Can you elaborate more on this? 

    We are a very international community. It is enriching. We can learn from one another. When we have celebrations, we can make the day pleasant. But it is also a challenge because sometimes we do not understand each other. We do not know enough their cultural background. 

    It is a challenge to be open. But things can be done in another way. In Germany, we have ways of doing things, but we need to be available to other forms and manners. The different cultures have to be open to learning. It is a challenge in daily life, in common prayers, in shared meals. Respect and listening to one another are essential. 

Arnoldus Nota:  You said our Congregation would not be conceivable, and we could not fulfill our ministry without our Steyl family. Can you speak more on this? 

    The Steyl family is our roots. The Divine Word Missionaries came first, then the SSPs Mission Sisters and we. Father Arnold founded us to be a kind of prayer support for the two missionary congregations. This is one aspect. The other aspect is that we always get the help of the SVDs and the SSPs. We could not do without them. Our Foundations are always near an SVD or SSpS Foundation, so we are not alone. We need a family. 

    We can promote this family spirit. Our strongest bond with the two missionary congregations, SSpS and SVD, is our prayer. But you are also praying for us. Sharing experiences happen already, but we can do more during General Chapters. We want to know what is going on when you go on a new mission. We have a challenge now of closing houses, and you also have experienced. We can dialogue and share those and other practical things in daily life. We always need to live that spirit of being one family. To think about it and not separate from the family. 

    During the time of COVID-19, our Sisters in Poland were infected. And the SVDs cook for them. They also brought the food every day, and they shopped for the Sisters. Something wonderful. Also, when we have questions, we know whom to ask. 

Arnoldus Nota: Do the lay partners find a special place in the Congregation? What have you been doing? 

    We have a league of adorers in all our communities. They want to live our spirituality and our daily life. They also help in the adoration when we do not have enough sisters. We also try to give some formation like conferences and recollection days. The lay partners also offer services. They ask us if we need anything, especially if we go somewhere. They are willing to drive us. They feel that they belong to the Steyl family. 

Arnoldus Nota: What is your message to your SVD Brothers, to those experiencing challenges or dryness in their spiritual life? 

    Not to give up when we experience dryness in our relationship with God. What am I looking for in my relationship with God? Am I looking for consolation, or do I look for the Lord? God allows that dryness for one to grow in faith and love. It is vital to have a time for prayer every day. Also, when there is much work, that is the time you pray more that you do not lose connection with God. You always remember why I am doing this; it is not just for me. It is for Him. Have a daily schedule and try to be faithful in prayer. 

Sister Magdalena apologized for her limited English. We would have wanted to tell her that language is not a barrier when one speaks right from the heart, which was indeed the spirit of the conversation. Mother General embodies our Pink Sister’s support and concern. The most she could promise on their behalf is, “You will always be in our prayers.” 

———–

Sr. Maria Magdalena Kruse, SSpSAP
Sr. Maria Magdalena Kruse, SSpSAP

One Response

  1. I do appreciate the depth of her sharing from the heart. We are one Arnoldus family. Happy to hear the Polish SVD confreres reached out in compassion with food. May we grow deeper in this process. Keep praying for us and our mission.

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