The Servants of Charity
Divine Providence Province
Father Guanella a Sword of Fire!!!
Dear confreres, brothers, novices, GLM, benefactors and friends,
Peace and Joy of the Holy Spirit! I am gladdened with joy and peace as we are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the ordination of our holy founder St. Louis Guanella.
Who is a priest?
Priest is an “alter Christus” another Christ. A priest is a sacred person set apart from the world, consecrated to God and entrusted with sacred duties. He carries a pledge of divine authority to teach, govern and administer the sacraments. He is wholly immersed in the divine love of God.
God takes great pleasure in dwelling perpetually in the heart of a priest. Every priest is the expression of God’s love for humanity. He adorns his soul with pure love and self-sacrifice.
When Pope Pius XI wrote a deeply moving encyclical on the Catholic priesthood, he addressed the priests of the world telling them that they were the ministers of Christ, instruments in the hands of the Redeemer, continuing the work of Redemption in all its world-embracing universality and divine efficacy; the work that brought so marvelous a transformation in the world.
In one of her dialogues, Saint Catherine of Siena was told by Christ what He thinks of priests. “They are My anointed ones,” the Savior said, “and I call them My Christs, because I have given them the office of administering Me to you. The angels have no such dignity. I have given it to those men whom I have appointed as earthly angels in this life.”
Father Louis Guanella made the resolution in front of God for his ordination, “I resolve to be a fiery sword in my holy ministry. I want to be salt of the earth.” The love of Christ moved Father Guanella; making him restless, sleepless, a worm circled by the divine fire. This love and union with God showed him the broken face of Christ in the suffering and abandoned around him which changed his entire life dedicated to save and serve those souls. His soul was constantly charged and focused in sanctifying his entire action and thought.
Though the first part of his priestly ministry was challenging with constant criticism, poverty, doubt; tension of the future and his love and trust in Divine providence was increasing and encouraging.
His deep trust in God, his life of holiness and heart on fire for the suffering impressed the people who contradicted his vision and brought them back to faith and charity.
This is the invitation to follow our holy founder to give testimony to Christ by our life of true commitment and union with Christ as we celebrate his 150th ordination anniversary. Let us renew our consecration with the spirit of our Father who showed us the way to holiness and heaven. He was resolute in doing everything in his power to help those in need, and to bring back to God all those who were away from the faith. Without wasting time, he also discovered vocations to consecrated life and the priesthood. Let us have the passion to pray and promote vocations. We wish all the brothers who renew their profession, the novices who are ready to embrace the Guanellian way of consecration and those who enter into the Postulancy to clarify their vocational motivations.