Leader: As we come together to pray with Angela’s charism, let us listen to words from her prologue to the counsels.
May the strength and true consolation of the Holy Spirit be in you all, so that you can sustain and carry out vigorously and faithfully the charge laid upon you, and at the same time look forward to the great reward which God has prepared for you if you strive, each one for her part, to be faithful and full of concern for his spouses who have been entrusted to you. How much, therefore, must you pray God to enlighten you, and direct you and teach you what you have to do for the love of Him.
We pray for understanding and knowledge to always serve God in our time and place. Amen.
Volunteer: Mary Cabrini Durkin, in her book, Leadership from the Heart, says Angela encourages us to turn to the Holy Spirit for the strength and consolation that will sustain us and renew our vigor. Turning to God, we will discover that God will “enlighten you, and direct you, and teach you what you have to do for the love of Him in this task.”
Volunteer: Cabrini also reminds us that when a task is presented to us in order to be done in God’s love, we are to go from prayer to action, “this noble task will have great reward if we try hard to – strive – to be faithful.”
One of Angela’s favorite words is striving. She does not ask for perfection, but for effort. The word strive speaks of energy; energy directed to a goal. We take comfort in knowing Angela supports us and prays with us.
Leader: Ask yourselves: Do I surrender each day’s tasks whether large or small to God?
When I am faced with a task, do I rush through it to get it done?
How can I slow myself down to God’s time and let Him guide me?
Volunteer: Angela tells us we should look into our hearts for the courage to step up and be a leader for the task presented to us. Do not look so much at yourself, instead keep your eyes on God, “who will help you in everything.”
Hope and firm faith will stretch beyond what you thought you could accomplish. Your associate brothers and sisters, your family and friends, have confidence in you so have confidence in yourself. Believe that you are held in God’s powerful hand.
Leader: Angela tells us to do everything out of love for Christ.
Ask yourselves: Recall a time when you sat with the Holy Spirit as you strived to make a decision or lead a group on a task, that caused you worry or doubt. What happened when you focused on God?
Leader: Listen to Angela’s closing words in her prologue:
“For understand that now I am more alive than I was when I lived on earth, and I see better and hold more dear and pleasing the good things which I see you constantly doing, and now, even more, I want and am able to help you and do you good in every way.”
We believe that Angela is in our midst, praying with us, and guiding us with the power of the Holy Spirit as we move forward.
I think maybe we sometimes forget how important we are to the world; our words and actions have power we may never know.
Take a moment and look at the picture of Angela and her company. This picture is a photograph of the original, which was destroyed in the bombing of the church of St. Afra, Brescia, by American forces on March 4, 1945. The artist is unknown.
Many of us have seen this photograph many times but look again and really study the picture. Look at the faces of the daughters. Each one has a unique expression. Where are you in this picture? Can you relate to any one daughter, or do you see yourself with a different thought? Are you in another part of the circle?
Maybe you do not see yourself in the circle at all. Sit with this for a few minutes and then we will share.
**Please note for the men present, Angela did not have men active in her first company as we do today. The men served as advisors and supporters and were called governors. We have changed our thought process. You can also find your place in the company**
Closing Prayer – In Angela’s first company, many of the daughters could not read, so they could not pray the Office of the Church. Angela invited all to pray the Our Father and Hail Mary several times during the day. These were memorized prayers that everyone could say. Angela made sure no one was left out of prayer and everyone had a place. So, we pray:
Peace to all.