Message of the Superior General -- 10th October 2010

My God! Always crosses! But when Jesus gives us the Cross he loves us; all these crosses weigh terribly on my heart; but they also increase its strength and courage in fighting the Lord’s battles, because God’s works have always been born and grown like this; the Church was founded in the blood of the God-Man, and of the Apostles and Martyrs; all the Catholic Missions in the world which have borne fruit have developed in the image of the Church, and thus they have prospered, thus they have grown strong, thus they have made progress, in the midst of deaths, of sacrifice and in the shade of the saving tree of the Cross. (Writings 7225) Dear confreres, On many occasions, in the course of this year, I approached St. Daniel Comboni and asked him for help and light for the mission that I live every day. I can say that I always found much strength to live the present time with thrust and hope. I wish to thank the Lord for the gift of our founder. Today, more than ever, I am discovering the greatness of our father, especially as I discovered more and more the situations and demands of today’s mission. The scenery in front of us, the situations of the world in which we have to live our vocation, the fra-gility of our humanity, the limits we have personally experienced are, I think, nothing but the cross which accompanied the life of Comboni, which made him a saint and has become for us a challenge to our holiness. On 10th October we will celebrate the memory of the dies natalis of Comboni. We join in the feast of the whole Church that remembers and proposes him as a model of mission and holiness, not just for us, heirs of his charism, but for the entire humanity who can discover in him a man full of God and of love for the poorest. In all simplicity, I can say that in the last months I have been a witness of how much Comboni’s ho-liness fascinates and attracts the heart of the many people who come in contact with him. I met many Comboni Missionaries and Sisters who, without making a noise, live with great joy the passion for mission and are consecrated body and soul to so many people who count little in the eyes of the world. They are living signs of Comboni’s holiness. I know of many lay people who have come to know our founder and become enthusiastic about him, fascinated by his holiness. For this I wish to thank the Lord with you today. Together with you I desire to celebrate, on this feast day, the gift of Comboni’s holiness and at the same time to ask for the grace to share in this holiness as I feel a particular need for it, for me as well as for all the mem-bers of our Institute. Perhaps you wonder which holiness I am talking about. I will answer, trying not to be repeating myself. I wish I could live Comboni’s holiness as he himself experienced it and conveyed it at the end of his life. A holiness of abandonment into the hands of God, of trust and deep faith that he manifested by his firm belief that God never abandons us; a holiness that becomes ability to live through suffering, challenge, human weakness, lack of human support, decrease in personnel and increase in missionary commitments without loosing optimism and enthusiasm. A holiness which allows u s to embrace the difficulties and the sacrifices that mission requires with a heart full of joy and courage, which is not scared and does not back down, even if it means to sacri-fice one’s life. I wish to celebrate with you Comboni’s holiness which teaches us to serenely live through such a challenging moment in our personal and the Institute’s history. A history where crosses are not lacking and where we are called to live with humility our poverty, as an occasion to let the Lord surprise us. To all I wish, on my behalf and on behalf of the General Council, a happy feast day, inviting you to ask for the grace of missionary holiness so that it may help us to live as people consecrated to God and to the poorest, as St. Daniel Comboni did. Fr. Enrique Sánchez G., mccj Superior General

Fr. Enrique Sánchez G.