Come, Holy Spirit, sanctify us.

Fill our hearts with a burning desire for the truth, the way, and fullness of life.

Ignite in us your fire, that we may become the light that shines and warms and comforts.

May we find words that speak of your love and beauty.

Create us anew, that we become people of love, your saints, visible words of God – that we may renew the face of the earth, and all will be created anew.

Come, Holy Spirit, sanctify us, strengthen us, stay with us. Amen

From the Eastern Church

 

Dear Sisters, dear Friends,

The above prayer to the Holy Spirit is one of my favorite prayers.

As we approach Pentecost, our SSpS special feast day, this is what I pray for all of us: that the Holy Spirit may fill our hearts, ignite us and renew us so that we too can become instruments of love, compassion, and beauty. May this love which originates in the dance of the Trinity be poured out into our hearts, and through us into our world. (Rom 5:5). This love wants to invite us into the dynamic of the dance. It is our deepest mission. It is our deepest calling. It is our vocation and our destiny. Isn´t that wonderful? As we celebrate Pentecost, may this mystery touch us. Let us dance for joy.

I am writing to you from Auschwitz in Poland, a place that surely holds one of the most horrific memories of human history. The Nazi concentration camps are a sign of what humankind is capable of at its worst. And yet, at this very moment we see history repeating itself in Ukraine and so many other places. We see the suffering of so many migrants, refugees, children, mothers, and wives who are exposed to inhuman conditions and losses. “I have heard them cry…” (Ex 3:7). The Trinity hears them and longs to be with us once again. Yet today, God has no other hearts, hands and feet than ours to let salvation flow into this world and to his people. It is our turn to be moved by compassion and to act.

I am in Poland because I am facilitating an assembly of the Salvatorian Sisters, a commitment I made before becoming Congregational Leader. After this event, I will visit our sisters of the Polish Province and see the reality of the refugees coming from Ukraine to Poland. We thank our sisters in the Polish Province and other provinces/regions who generously offer hospitality to so many.

Shortly before coming to Poland, I visited Bolivia with Sr. Mariana, SSpS. In Bolivia we had a regional gathering followed by the PANAM assembly in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The experience moved me more deeply into the PANAM reality.  I stood on PANAM ground, learning from our sisters on this continent.

No matter where we are or from which cultural background we come, we are all together within the same call: to be a Servant of the Holy Spirit and as communities to continue God´s mission. The Holy Spirit is the Ruah, the dynamic breath of God who blows where she wills and who builds up community. God is not a single entity, God is relationship. God is not acting alone. God is acting in relationships and through relationships.

Love is not solitary, centered around herself. All our existence is deeply relational. When this dimension is lacking, we suffer.

When I return to Rome, our next task as a team is to reflect, pray and work on the Directions, Resolutions and Recommendations of our 15th General Chapter. After we finish this phase, we will let you know our ideas on how to implement the mandate of the General Chapter.

For now, I just pray that we all will live into our vocation and destiny as true Servants of the Holy Spirit.

Create us anew, that we become people of love, your saints, visible words of God – that we may renew the face of the earth, and all will be created anew.

Come, Holy Spirit, sanctify us, strengthen us, stay with us. Amen

United with you in the love of the Holy Spirit,

Yours,

Sr. Miriam Altenhofen, SSpS

Congregational Leader