This is part 5 of a nine part series of meditations on the Word of God with reflections from the writings of Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo and Blessed James Alberione.
It is evident that Mother Thecla was aware of her call to union with God, that is, to holiness. The key here is her constant use of the phrase “to make progress.” She worked toward this fervently-desired goal by making the best possible use of two basic elements” prayer and interior work.
She constantly reminded the Sisters to utilize these two “wheels” to facilitate their journey toward the fullness of the Christian life.
Meditating the Word with Mother Thecla
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more. You are clean already by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, as I in you, As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. (…).
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples (John.15:1-8).
Meditating the Word with Mother Thecla Merlo
We must “remain” in the Lord if we want to experience spiritual growth and effectiveness on the communitarian and apostolic levels.
Do you want to know how you can tell if a soul is spiritually strong? Look to see if that person prays. If so, everything will go well. Prayer is the heartbeat of the spiritual life (CSAS 139/10).
In the Gospel, Jesus says: Those who are thirsty, come to me. To be thirsty for religious perfection; to work for this and seek to attain it (Spiritual Notes, October 3, 1958).
Am I convinced of the fact that we, who are weak creatures, can do nothing without the grace of God” The more we see the need to do good to others, the more we should recognize and acknowledge our unworthiness. But then with great trust in God we must strain ahead like our Father St. Paul, saying: “I can do everything in the One who strengthens me” (VPC 124).
Prayers from the Scriptures
Psalms 33, 51, 91, 86, 103
The Our Father
Blessed James Alberione’s Thought
Piety was always Mother Thecla’s first occupation, not only at the beginning of the day but also at the start of the day’s second half.
Her intimate and fervent piety enabled her to receive light from God, as well as the strength to carry out the duties of her office, the work of her mission, and the work of her sanctification.
Alberione, Fraternal Help, 3 (1965) 6