“Libermann and the Holy Spirit”
Discovering the Holy Spirit in the Life of Libermann
We are going to follow this Novena entitled “Libermann and the Holy Spirit” within the ambit of the Year of Consecrated Life. The first letter from the Roman Congregation for Religious, addressed to all those living the Consecrated Life, which has for its theme “Rejoice” draws to a great extent on the words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel”. In that document, the Pope invites us to go back to the source of our own vocation, namely, our encounter with Jesus Christ.
This Novena invites us to go back to the source of Libermann’s vocation: the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth at his conversion, and of the Spirit of Love at his Baptism. If we wish to understand the teaching of Libermann on consecration and docility to the Holy Spirit, we must first of all try to know his spiritual experience as a beginner in the Faith. This is what we propose to examine during this (first) Novena.
In this Novena, “Libermann: his Experience of the Holy Spirit”, we are invited to live the same return to the sources of our own Spiritan missionary vocation.
The present Novena is a re-reading of the life of Libermann, especially of the first part of his life up to the foundation of the Society of the Holy Heart of Mary.
- This Novena takes a close look at the testimonies of his friends (Gamon, Vernet, Delucheux), in which we find confidences expressed by Libermann. Libermann, in his humility, certainly spoke very little about himself, or about the exceptional graces which the Holy Spirit gave him. His revelations to certain friends are therefore of primary importance for us Spiritans.
- For some of the days, there is a Reading which allows us to look again at what Libermann experienced, and to find there the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit.
- The final days draw their inspiration from the Commentary on St. John written in Rome during a period of profound spirituality. Libermann there speaks of what he had experienced, and was even then experiencing. This Commentary allows us also to enter more deeply into his experience of the Holy Spirit, with reference to the Holy Heart of Mary.