Sunday, August 17, 2014

Discouragement is the work of the Devil

Introduction of the Newsletter no. 16, (2014 April-July) 

Dear Confreres, Sisters and Friends,
In this Orionine Missionary Year, 100 years after the first Orionine Missionaries left Italy for Brazil, we recognise that making a start in a different nation, continent, with different food, language, climate and customs is a very big effort.  We thank all those missionaries who have made that decisive step to go out of the “comfort zone” of their familiar surroundings to bring the Gospel of God’s love to peoples and places which are new to the missionaries.  But we also recognise that after that first step of the Sons of Divine Providence, led by St. Luigi Orione, those who follow also have a hard task, that of persevering faithfully.  As the world seems to become more complicated and somehow more resistant to the Good News of Christ, we who are trying to maintain and develop what St Luigi and his early confreres started in the Church, need a lot of guidance, grace and strength to persevere and not allow discouragement to enter our hearts. Discouragement is the work of the Devil; and so, let us recognises its destructive force and pray to the Lord for the grace to overcome it, if it tempts us. “‘Charity commands us not stand aloof  in a comfortable self-sufficiency, but to feel and have an efficacious compassion for the suffering and needs of others, from whom we must not regard ourselves as separated while they are one with us in Christ’ (cf. Don Orione, Writings Scr. 80, 283).  So too, the Orionines of today must be taught how to respond quickly and creatively, with the spirit of ‘first aid’, to the emergencies around us and to the problems of our world (cf. Constitutions art. 121)”(In the footsteps of Don Orione p. 177). I know that you are all trying to do just that.  But sometimes find that things do not go as planned for many reasons. In my recent visits in the Delegation I was overcome by physical and mental tiredness which tempted me to discouragement and inactivity.  That experience, which I am gradually overcoming, has helped me to understand how discouraged and depressed people can feel at times.  I hope it will help me to be more understanding and compassionate and also helpful in overcoming such a state in my brothers and sisters.  Thankfully, after some rest I feel a lot better now. 

Fr. Malcolm Dyer FDP
Delegation "Mother of the Church" 

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