(West Africa) A five-day course on Redemptorist Spirituality was organised by the Centre for Redemptorist Spirituality, Rome, from 24th to 29th of September 2021 at the Society of Divine World Conference Centre in Accra. The aim of the course was to give the members of Ghana Mission new insight into the renewal of our spirituality. The course was attended by nine members of the Mission, and Fr. Nicholas Ayouba, CSsR, the Consultant for Africa, Rome. The programme started on Friday 24th September 2021 with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, presided over by Fr. Piotr Chyla, CSsR, the director of the Centre for Redemptorist Spirituality in Rome, and the facilitator for the five days course. In his homily, he called the confreres to deeply reflect on our Apostolic life and the origin or root of the Congregation. Relating this to a tree, he says, ‘‘the life of a tree comes from its root’’. Therefore, it is very necessary to know the root of our Congregation. This will help us to have a holistic knowledge of our Spirituality.
The first lecture of the course delved into the Spiritual Experiences in the Bible. Here, some of the theological and anthropological symbols, traditions in the Bible, various Spiritualties from the Old and New Testaments were discussed. There was also a discussion on the Christian Spirituality down the centuries. Fr. Piotr made the confreres aware that the Redemptorist Spirituality is connected with the Bible and the various Schools of Spirituality in the history of the Church.
During the second day, the understanding of Spirituality and the Spiritual life were dealt with. Fr. Piotr reminded the confreres that Spirituality is a life unified in the person of Jesus. He added that meeting Jesus in our daily lives is the most important thing.
Day three was about Redemptorist Spirituality. Here, Fr. Piotr discussed the fact that the dominant characteristic of the Redemptorist Spirituality is the ‘‘Incarnation’’ (to be present). He says, ‘‘As Redemptorists, we need to have a sixth sense, thus, ‘to know and understand who are the poor and abandoned’.
Day four discussed the origin of the Redemptorists and some prominent figures of the Congregation such as Maria Celeste Crostarosa, Tommaso Falcoia, Gennaro Sarnelli, and Alphonsus Maria De Liguori. Alphonsian Spirituality was also looked at in-depth. Fr. Piotr highlighted the three aspects of Alphonsian Spirituality. These are: Christ the Redeemer, Seeking the abandoned, and the Conscience. The three parts of Alphonsian mental prayer was also discussed; the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction consists of an act of faith, act of contrition, and enlightenment. The body consists of meditation, affection, petitions, and resolution. The conclusion consisted of thanksgiving prayer, prayer for help, and prayer for perseverance. The course ended with the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Eugene Kodzo Adzaklu, CSsR