The Trusted Companions of Saint Arnold Janssen

Author: Paul G. La Forge, SVD
Subject: Bioghraphies of Nicolaus Blum, Hermann Wegener, Johann Janssen, Bernhard Eikenbrock, Johann Holthausen
Language: English
Publisher: Divine Word College, Epworth, Iowa, USA
Year: 2012
Available in .pdf

Inspirational reading about the companions of Arnold Janssen. What might we learn from them? Father Blum successfully smoothed the transition period after the death of the founder by systemically organizing a General Chapter; not an easy feat because the division of the Society of Divine Word into provinces was incomplete. Roughly 200 SVD missionaries in the world had all passed through hands of Fr. Wegener as prefect of the minor seminary. Very important was his contribution to Christian Spirituality by showing the value of the experience of the Garden of Olives as a three-fold experience of every contemplative – and experience of intense suffering, and experience of self-surrender, and an experience of enlightenment.  What we can learn from the life of Johann Janssen is the necessity of discernment. Father Eikenbrock was the first novice master of the society, but his other contribution is in explaining an application of space-time, a much-discussed phenomenon in contemporary Physics, to prayer life as inspiration and expiration. Lastly, there is Father Holthausen who made it clear that what was most important in the spirituality of the Society, was that each member creates a personal program of life from among the devotions. Each of these five companions reflected the spirituality of Arnold Janssen, but each in his own unique way.

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