St. Gaspar Bertoni:
A Trinitarian Charism of Hope
[Study developed in 1981]
The purpose of these 24 half-hour reflections is to explore St. Gaspar Bertoni’s Trinitarian Charism as he wrote about it over the many years of his life.
We begin with St. Gaspar’s entry in his Spiritual Diary [MP – August 24, 1808] made after a ministry visit to St. Joseph’s Convent. His attention had been drawn to a painting of the Most Holy Trinity and he was captivated by the rendition of the Father’s infinite generosity in handing over His Only-begotten, Most Beloved Son. “For God so loved the world that he did not spare His only Son” [cf. Rm 8:32; Jn 3:16]. That generosity in and through the Most Holy Trinity became the model of St. Gaspar’s own life of total oblation to the mercy of God.
These reflections will follow the Saint’s comments on this charism revealed in his Spiritual Diary, in his Original Constitutions, in his rules for the treatment of Guests and the ill, and finally, in the particularly strong emphasis he put on urging a communion of life, in spite of the diverse apostolates of his confreres.
This, then, was the way St. Gaspar lived out his charism: in a life of unity and community in the midst of plurality and diversity—all for the glory of God. This theme runs through many of his texts, and he ultimately urges his readers to hope and persevere in trust in the Lord, abandoning themselves to the Lord’s mercy like a child who sleeps in his mother’s arms (Ps 131). In a particularly poignant letter, this is exactly the image of trust he urges on his friend and spiritual daughter, Leopoldina Naudet, Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Verona.
|St. Gaspar Bertoni: 'A Trinitarian Charism of Hope' - by Rev. Joseph Henchey, CSS|