CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
THE CONSOLING PROMISE
This type of promise is not exclusive to our Congregation. It is the third of the three statements that have traditionally been collected from the prophecy of the Founder: 1) the expansion throughout the world, 2) remaining until the end of time, and 3) the promise of salvation for all those who die in the Congregation. Fr. Xifre made it known in a circular letter of 1897 and then it was collected by other publications, such as those of Fr. Felix A. Cepeda and Fr. Ramon Ribera, but it was never considered official doctrine of the Congregation. On October 23, 1897 in his very important Circular Fr. Xifre wrote: As Religious Missionaries, we are obliged to tend towards perfection through the keeping of the vows and observance of the Rule. We have an oath of perseverance. If we fulfill it, we have a great sign of predestination, and the revelation of our Father Founder, from whom we heard from his lips, namely: GOD HAS REVEALED TO ME THAT THOSE WHO REMAIN IN THE CONGREGATION UNTIL DEATH WILL BE SAVED.
When I was ten years old, I was allowed to make my First Communion. Words cannot tell what I felt on that day when I had the unequaled joy of receiving my good Jesus into my heart for the first time. From then on I always frequented the sacraments of Penance and Communion, but how fervently and with what devotion and love: more than now – yes, more than now, I must say to my embarrassment and shame… (Aut 38)
Besides assisting at Holy Mass, frequent Communion, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which I did with great fervor because of God’s goodness and mercy, I also attended the pastor’s catechism class and explanation of the Holy Gospel that took place every Sunday and feast day. These sessions always closed in the afternoon with recitation of the Holy Rosary. (Aut 39)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Do you remember which were the most important religious practices of your childhood?
- How do you see your prayer life today?
- Write a letter about the experience of your First Communion and your early devotions.
(John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, 198)