The number of the Rule of Life that I liked
Before the approval of our Rule of Life, it was possible in our communities to comment on it. I had then proposed adding that we pray every day for at least one hour before the Blessed Sacrament. I was pleasantly surprised to see this became incorporated in No. 29!
We also know that the process of the approbation of the Rule of Life took a long time, since the Holy See did not see that the charism of our Congregation was clearly expressed.
Without a doubt, the first version of Rule of Life filled me with enthusiasm, because I saw that our religious life was too rigid, without a healthy openness to the realities of the world today. 40 years later, I see that we are thoroughly committed in parishes and other activities, but what place does the prayer of adoration have in our lives?
Previously it was up to us as religious to maintain a strict rhythm of adoration, even to the point of maintaining perpetual adoration. Today our communities are smaller but involve the participation of lay people.
In Senegal and more particularly in Dakar we can continue living with confidence and joy our charism, which is centred on the Eucharist, not only celebrated, but also adored and lived.
During a retreat in preparation for their religious vows, I told our African Novices that other Congregations are opening missions, centres of human development, formation, schools.
We too can do this, but our priority and our task in the Church consists above all to keep our churches open to witness to adoration ourselves, bring others to adore, and to seek out those who are far away, marginalized, following the example of Saint Peter-Julian Eymard.
Father Alessandro Bianchin, sss
Province of Our Lady of Africa, Senegal – Guinée Bissau