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Passionists UK Passio Issue #7 – Lent 2021

Passio Issue #7 – Lent 2021

Speaking as Passionists, we know that we are crucifying God’s creation. But then, resurrection is always possible.

Published May 28 2021

Introduction

Welcome to the first ‘Passio’ of the Passionist Tercentenary Year. The tricentenary celebrations commenced with a solemn eucharist at the Basilica of SS John and Paul in Rome on 22nd November 2020 because it was on that day in 1720 that Paul Danei (St Paul of the Cross) received the Passionist habit and began the retreat during which he wrote the Passionist Rule and received many of the foundational graces of the spiritual family God was calling him to found. It seems appropriate then that the opening message of this issue of Passio is presented by John Kearns CP, Provincial of St. Joseph’s Province:

“In prayer by night I was at peace and also a little distracted. I had special recollection in offering his Most Holy Life, Death and Passion…   I had a particular impulse to pray for the conversion of England….”

So wrote a young Paul Daneo, later to be known as St Paul of the Cross, on Sunday 29th December 1720 ( the feast of St Thomas a Becket). He was part way through the forty-day retreat which also saw him write the first Rule for “The Poor of Jesus”, later to be known as the Passionists. Thus, was the beginning of our Religious Congregation, and therefore the Tercentenary Jubilee of our foundation which started last year and continues this year, 2021.

The Congregation has chosen the theme of “Gratitude, Prophecy and Hope” to mark the Jubilee. Gratitude, for all that is now, and has gone before; Prophecy, to indicate that the message of the Cross stands as a perennial challenge to the world in which we live; and Hope, as this message is rooted in the self-giving and life-giving Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – God who loves us unto and beyond death, as we will celebrate especially at Easter.

Three hundred years is a long time. And yet, since Paul Daneo wrote the first Rule, the charism of the Passion has been forever finding new and fresh expression in the Holy Spirit, as our world continues to give us cause for celebration and for concern, as we need to hear again and again the message of the Gospel, and as our eyes look to a horizon beyond our own immediate circumstances.

Happy Jubilee therefore!

We continue to keep alive the memory of the Passion whenever we see the world around us through eyes of love and mercy; whenever we reach out in solidarity with the Crucified Ones: whenever we adjust our attitudes and lifestyles in solidarity with the Crucified Earth. May St Paul of the Cross pray for us; and in words of prayer used by him and his early followers and continued by us ~ May the Passion of Jesus Christ, and the Sorrows of Mary our Mother, remain always in our hearts. Amen.

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