St. Peter Julian Eymard’s apostolate
via prism of RoL 41
“Pro Te Viviam” and “Pro Te Moriar” meaning respectively, “Lord, I live for you” and “Lord, I (will) die for you” were captivating sayings of St. Peter Julian Eymard. The first one is after his series of encounters with Christ and later one was in his early period of his life. In sum up, these are sayings as Fr. Eymard plodded resolutely to the summit of holiness “on-going discovery of the paschal mystery” in his life. The vision which shaped his life is mostly reflected in his tireless efforts to write the constitution to the Congregation.
The Rule of life that we have now has the required fundamentals drawn from the constitution drafted by the founder forming the basis and the underlining edge. His in-depth knowledge and experience of the paschal mystery would not be diluted then. Truly then, he was proclaimed the prophet of the Eucharist. Thus, insistence to know and live the Eucharist as founder had gone through is imperative for his sons and daughters. He viewed the Eucharist as a powerful means for the renewal of the Church and the transformation of society, and as a response to the deep hungers of humanity as well. This is reflected in his exhortation, namely, be adorers and make others adorers. For it is through our prayer before the Sacrament we find our ministry more meaningful.
To pin a specific area of our lives to be Eucharistic, to locating our involvement in pastoral setting of our communities forms part of my reflection. Our communities will never be authentic sings if our celebration of the Eucharist and adoration would not open the doors for us to reach out to people who are hungry to experience the Eucharistic Lord in arrayed contexts.
The very characteristics of RoL no 41 namely, community of faith, community of worship and community of service spells out what should be our contextualized focus. Therefore, in one way or another, we are challenged in our pastoral settings where our communities are rooted will be a call to living out “not only sole community living” a context being away from the realistic situations in society but of being more of full involvement in the pastoral field. Our founder’s model invites us to the fundamental dynamics guiding us as to seek and to make the mission as envisaged by the Vatican II.
To be more particular, the context is to go and seek the sheep, plunging oneself to address the needs: hunger for the celebration of the Eucharist in truth and spirit, celebration of adoration, various nominal helps to be offered to people from the angle of option for poor and so.
The significance of RoL which invites us to do as Eymard did, namely to consider attentively the longings and needs of people of our time and to discover in what way God’s love, made present and celebrated in the Eucharist can be made comprehensive to people so that they themselves can come to see that it offers them an answer to the needs spelt out above. How wonderful it would be if such ministry accomplished together with those who also share the same search. This is a real following of the founders in dynamics fidelity.
Living for Jesus in the Eucharist characterized his life long search for a committed mission in the church, crystallizing in his vow of persona, in total gift of self is simply put, answers his leap from “Pro Te Moriar” to “Pro Te Viviam”.
Father Arputharaj Bangar, sss
Novitiate community, Goa - India