The Contemplative Dimension
The Member is aware that he is “called” for this state of life out of the Providence and Mercy of God who called us “out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pt 2:9). This consciousness that he is “called” and “planted” by God is kept alive by the sense of gratitude which leads the Member to adore the “true and living God” as his “Lord God” and his “Gracious Father”. Resting securely in the bosom of the Father, the Member continues to adore God in all his providential dispositions, and actively and readily gives first preference to the will of God in everything.
The Founder understood that the vocation of the Member, like that of every Christian, is to adore and glorify God: “We adore him by loving, obeying, thanking, and praising him and by preferring God to our own life”. Fr Preca also understood that one can give glory to God only by living to the full one’s vocation: “We are specifically called to glorify God… We glorify him by doing always his will in everything, and by spreading to the best of our abilities the teaching of life”.
The Founder was “immersed” in God. Fr Preca was not only full of reverence towards the Lord of Hosts, but he was also alive with trust and unlimited confidence towards God as a Father. This interior and powerful sense of awe and wonder, adoration and self-abandonment, reverence and trust, as The Watch manifests abundantly, is reflected in the Founder’s preaching and writings. Overwhelmed by wonder similar to that of a child, Fr Preca discovers the greatness of God and delights in him: “Great and wonderful are your deeds, o God Almighty!”
The knowledge of God enhances the attitude of adoration by the creature towards the Creator. In the spirit of St Michael, the Member gives honour and glory to God alone. The knowledge of God instills an attitude of familial intimacy with God because the SDC Member is one with the family of the Lord: “Our heart belongs to you… We are yours and you are ours. Amen”. That is why the Member prays daily to Jesus, the incarnate Son of the Father, to make him share “in his divinity”, and also to become one with the Holy Trinity.
This intimacy with God fosters in the Member that contemplative or mystic heart of a person who has learnt to find God in all and all in God. The Member adores God “in spirit and truth”, through everything that the Member does and in all that he undergoes throughout the day, both in prosperity as well as in adversity. By means of his contemplative gaze, he finds, sees and adores God in the members of his own family, in his colleagues at work, in needy persons, in his fellow Members, in his activity at work or profession, in the apostolate of proclaiming the Word.
Thus the Member thanks God daily for all the benefits God bestows on him. This habitual attitude of gratitude instills in the Member a revulsion for sin, “the dreadful enemy of God”. Thereby, while avoiding sin in all forms, the Member cherishes dearly God’s mercy: “Thank you, Lord God. Forgive me Lord God”, and positively lives the attitudes of the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-10) which the Founder emphasised and celebrated since the first years of the Society.
Since this contemplative stance is basic for the spiritual and apostolic life of the Members, and since postmodern society tends to suffocate all sense of faith and of the transcendental, the Member is earnestly urged to see how to keep alive the sense of God in himself by all possible means.