Ut sitis filii Patris vestri (1960)
Dear Friends in the Lord,
I am driven to write to you under a powerful im-pression, I believe, of divine inspiration. It seems to me that at last the Lord wants to give us a motto and a programme. From the very beginning of the Commu-nity the Lord has wanted to inspire us with a great love for the Sermon on the Mount, and has given us as our programme the Beatitudes which Jesus preached. From the start St Francis, with his prayer, has lent us his heart and soul in love with God.
Was not this the goal of all our aspirations, our desires, our secret hopes that God gave us from the very moment that He called us? To be the witnesses of God: to reveal His holiness, His infinite purity, to be as it were His presence for men on this earth.
Well, tonight in the depths of my soul the words of Jesus have been echoing: I repeat them for me and for you:
UT SITIS FILII PATRIS VESTRI
That you may be the children of your Father
These words conclude Jesus’ discourse on the Mount of the Beatitudes; every divine commandment has been given to us only for this: so that we may become and be in truth the Children of God, the children of the Father. To be children is to reveal with our entire life this ineffable mystery of divine love, it is our whole programme, because this is our vocation, which we have received from God: in humility, in peace, in simplicity, in the purity of a life filled with love, to want nothing more than this, to be children of God.
The words of Jesus teach us that humility, peace and purity are the doors into the Kingdom, but the Kingdom is nothing but love. Charity: that is what makes us truly children of the Father: a charity without bounds, living our life only to give, living to sacrifice everything in an ever-increasing forgetfulness of self. If we must, according to Jesus’ commandment, be per-fect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, then we must know that this perfection is nothing but love: a disinterested charity, a humble and pure charity, a charity without limits. We cannot expect charity to distinguish our little Community in the Church of God from the other religious communities, because charity is the badge of all the saints, but this is our vocation, to be saints, to live only for God, or rather to allow Him to live in us His pure and tremendous life.
For this to come about, we must all of us walk the path of humility: to disappear, to be no more, to expect nothing for ourselves, to seek for nothing, to be for-gotten, to be lost in silence. That He should be: only He. We must reveal nothing but Him, must be the con-dition for His presence, must know no other name.
UT SITIS FILII PATRIS VESTRI. May the Lord, who has given us these words as a motto, fulfil them in us, He who is the only-begotten Son of the Father. Let us pray therefore to the Lord, let us never tire of praying for each other, so that He may come into each of us and be Himself the Praise of the Father, the salvation of the world.
From Fr Barsotti’s circulars – Casa San Sergio, October 24th,1960