The symbol of sunshine was used by Fr. Gerald, s.P. in three ways to express his Philosophy of Ministry to his Priests and Brothers, the Servants of the Paraclete.
Sunshine of Nature
Life on our planet needs sunshine. The first foundation of the Servants of the Paraclete was in New Mexico, a land where sunshine is abundant and has a healing effect on body and mind. The sun helps to give and restore life: wholesome food, rest, exercise, and the beauty of nature in the mountains, forests, flowers, sky … in all of God’s creation. The sunshine of nature also includes the beneficial effects of life giving sciences, sound psychotherapy and judicious use of medicine.
Hence, Paraclete programs seek to address the physical, psychological, intellectual, aesthetic, and social dimensions of our nature. In a word, sunshine includes all that nature provides for the developing and healing of our life.
Sunshine of Fraternal Charity
Almost from the very beginning when “wounded” priests and brothers came and lived together in Jemez Springs, a strong sense of charity, understanding and fraternity spontaneously sprang up.
The science of psychology is familiar with this phenomenon and explains it as a tendency of individuals who are struggling with similar difficulties to bond together in a spirit of mutual understanding, cooperation and help for recovery. But more than human science is involved here: the radiation of fraternal love is life giving and helps healing to take place at the deepest level of our being as human persons.
Sunshine of the Eucharist
While the Servants of the Paraclete make use of much that nature and nurture has to offer, our deepest belief is that all healing for spirit and vocation comes ultimately from Christ, our Redeemer. The daily celebration of the Eucharist is the center of each day in our renewal and treatment programs. In this way the Eucharistic love of Christ shines on and brings life to all that is within our mind, heart and memory. The sunshine of nature and the radiation of fraternal charity are thus able to be transformed in a divine way.
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