Easter Message of Sr. Miriam Altenhofen
“A good friend of mine sent me some photos of her tulips. In the beginning, you hardly see anything. But then life comes, sprouting out of the earth, blooming into full beauty. This is the dance of life, and we are part of it. Do you not perceive it? Something needs to die so that the new can come! Sometimes we need to let go so that the flowers can come.”
Sr. Miriam Altenhofen, Congregational Leader of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit, in her message for Easter.
Dear Sisters, Dear Friends!
At the end of January, our 15th General Chapter elected me as your Congregational Leader and gave me a wonderful team to work with. On the 31st of March, we officially entered the ministry of serving as your team. Soon after this important event, we started our council’s journey. We drove to Steyl in a minibus – through South Tyrol, then to Germany, and finally up to the Netherlands.
In Steyl, under the guidance of the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Network, we walked in the footsteps of Arnold Janssen and our Mothers, Maria and Josefa. We reflected and prayed about their exercise of leadership in the initial stages of our congregation. And we drank from the well of our original inspiration as Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit.
We indeed have a very rich heritage, and the Holy Trinity is central to us and to our understanding of our mission. In our Congregational Directions, we speak of the dance of the Holy Trinity which invites us to enter the dynamic of giving and receiving in a loving interchange, thus transforming the world with compassion.
There is indeed so much which cries out for transformation in our world. I think especially of the terrible war situation between Russia and Ukraine. Our brothers and sisters are suffering the destruction of their homes, and the death of loved ones. There seems no way to bridge the abyss between brothers and sisters. Hatred is growing, and the spiral of violence is going deeper and deeper. Where is a way out? Our sisters are there in the midst of it all. They welcome refugees. They give them beds and food. They play with the children. They pray with young and old and thus keep the flame of hope alive. There will be a life after the war. God has not forgotten us. God hears our cry.
That is what our sisters believe and that is what they witness with their very lives. They transform the dark and bring light and consolation which is otherwise so dim and so desperate. Let us support them and so many others during these difficult times with our prayers and whatever help we can offer.
So many of our communities especially in Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and others offer shelter in our communities. We in Rome have also welcomed seven Ukrainian women. Solidarity within Ukraine and beyond is great. Deep gratitude to all of you who are involved. You are part of the transformational power of humanity and love.
These days we are celebrating the Paschal mystery. Jesus went through the dark. He experienced violence and death, a terrible death on the cross. And yet, God did not leave him in the darkness of the grave. The dance of the Trinity continued. Love and life are stronger than death.
A good friend of mine sent me some photos of her tulips. In the beginning, you hardly see anything. But then life comes, sprouting out of the earth, blooming into full beauty. This is the dance of life, and we are part of it. Do you not perceive it? Something needs to die so that the new can come! Sometimes we need to let go so that the flowers can come.
Let´s be aware of this kind of dance of the Trinity!
I wish you all a very blessed and grace-filled Easter!
Yours, Sr. Miriam SSpS