THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES (John 15)
Begin with Centering Prayer found in SSND Family Tree Prayer
Hymn : "Ubi Caritas et amor, ubi caritas, Deus ibi est." (3 x's)
Side 1 "In Jesus - He has given me a part in his unspeakable mercy his poverty, his hardship, suffering, anxiety and need.
Side 2 To him, now, I write this:
I cannot describe my interior peace.
Side 1 Now I am in Jesus.
May he do what he wants with me.
Side 2 Him will I trust.
He will remain in me and I in him:
All: On him I will build."
Leader : With her we pray together: "I know that my love is not yet sufficient and my soul must be purified/ but this purification I leave in the hands of the Vinedresser/ who will trim and prune the branches/ even though this will be painful. All my life will be lived by God's grace/ in the service of Christ/ through the mediation of his holy mother." Gift us with her courage. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen (Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger, #1, Retreat Notes, Mar. 15, 1822)
Reader 1. Fr. Job also focused on the Vine and the Branches as an image of our unity with Christ and with one another as "Sisters."
"Our Savior declares to His apostles as well as to all engaged in apostolic labors: ' Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: [she] that abides in me and I in [her] the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.' John 15:4-5
(Fr. Job's Spirit of the Constitutions of the Poor School Sisters Of Notre Dame, August 14, 1833, p. 18)
Leader : An example of that "abiding love" of which Fr. Job wrote is given in the following letter.
Reader 2 Letter from Mother Almeda Schricker, Dec. 20, 1944 (document file and audio files available on CD)
Reader 3 Letter from S. Brunhild Teufel, November 4, 1999 (document and audio files available on CD)
Response: "Let us think more kindly, speak more kindly, and act more kindly" (Mother Fidelis Krieter, "Apostolate of Kindness" 1941)
For School Sisters of Notre Dame whose lives are rooted in Christ, may we be strengthened by their courage. (Response)
For those who long for deeper roots in Christ, may we accept the pruning that allows this fruitfulness to grow. (Response)
For all who are struggling to remain faithful in our church and society, (response)
For warring factions in our families, cities, and world, may those rooted in Christ bring hope and justice, (Response)
Your own intercessions
Our Father (audio file in German)
Leader : Grateful for the gift of the internationality of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, for Mother Almeda, Mother Fidelis and all who believed Mother Theresa's global vision let us say our concluding prayer together.
Blessed Theresa's words to us are sometimes frightening, always challenging: "All the works of God proceed slowly and in pain/ but then, their roots are sturdier/ and their flowering the lovelier." Help us embrace the pruning events in our own lives. Let us claim the sturdy roots of School Sisters of Notre Dame/ and celebrate the "flowering" we have witnessed. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen