As we continue with part two of Mother Thecla’s letters and meditations, we notice that her life and teachings revolve around the Sermon on the Mount. The Gospel values she draws from this passage are never separated from the person of Jesus. Poverty, simplicity, gentleness, transparency, fortitude, peace mercy: she held these qualities up as characteristics of the Pauline life to be lived on a personal, communitarian and apostolic level.
The Gospel Message
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.
Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognized as children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you (Mt. 5:1-12).
Mt. chapters 5-7; Lk. 1:27-28; Lk. 1:45; Lk. 6:20-23; 2 Cor. 8-9; Phil.1:29; Heb.12:14-15; Is. 61:16-22
Meditating the Word with Mother Thecla
Jesus chose for himself a life of poverty and he practiced this virtue throughout his earthly life, in total detachment and in the most perfect way. He also said “blessed are the poor,” promising them heavenly wealth. Poverty must be something very precious if the Son of God himself chose to practice it and pointed it out as a condition for attaining the Kingdom of heaven! (VPC116)
Peace is a fruit of love, understanding and harmony…. (VPC137) Be strong in the face of adversity that may befall us, bearing willingly for the love of the Lord the great and small sufferings which we encounter in daily life. Let us learn to suffer without complaining, taking everything from the hands of the Lord (VPC75).
Graces We Should Ask For
Faith - hope - love
The gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (wonder).
The fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.
The word which we meditate challenges our lifestyle, which should be modeled on that of the Divine Master. First he lived, then he taught. He lived the beatitudes before he proclaimed them.
- To what degree have I made the conscious, deliberate choice to let myself be evangelized by this Word?
- Do I live the qualities of poverty, simplicity and transparency in the various situations of my life?
- Do I bring serenity and peace to my community (family and workplace) and my mission in life?
Psalms 11; 12; 24; 37; 126
Magnificat – Mary’s Prayer
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with mercy on his lowly servant. Behold from this day forward all generations will call me blessed because he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him. He has shown strength with his arm he has scattered the proud in their conceit, he has cast down the mighty from their throne and has lifted up the lowly. He has come to the help of his servant Israel remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever. Amen
Praying the Beatitudes
Lord, give me poverty of spirit, so that I always remember that your kingdom is my true home. Comfort me in my sorrows, Lord. Give me compassion for others who mourn. Give me a meek heart; empower me to further your Kingdom here on earth. May I hunger and thirst to do your will, Lord; I trust I will find fulfillment only in you. Lord, give me a merciful heart, and surround me with your mercy when I need it most and trust in it least. Purify my heart, Lord, so that I may see your presence everywhere, in everyone I meet, and may I one day see you face to face. May I bring your peace everywhere I go. Lord, give me strength, courage, and perseverance when I am persecuted for doing good. Grant all your children a joyful entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
From the Founder: Blessed James Alberione, ssp
What are Mother Thecla’s secrets? A profound humility, which leads to docility. A faith put into practice, which leads to prayer. She was always humble, even in moments of success, of approval, in dealing with others, in directing them. At the same time, she was always serene in moments of failure, in contradictions, in misunderstandings. Alberione, CVV 264
From the booklet "Let us Rediscover Her Message: Outline for a Spiritual Itinerary" Celebrating the 100th Year of the Birth of Mother Thecla Merlo 1894-1994