Dear women of the 40 hours,
Today, the stakes are high. We live in difficult times. And as the saying goes: “for great evils, there are great remedies”. Hence, the origin of the 40 hours for vocations. This is the great remedy which we must make use of in our time: to increase priestly and religious vocations.
Some will say that it is better to do something else, or that there are really more important things to worry about, such as poverty, war, drug consumption, etc., but it is not so. The most important thing is always to have the road to Heaven open, because, as the great Fulton Sheen said: “if souls are not saved, then nothing is saved”. It is of no use to stop having poor people if there are no priests. It is of no use for war to cease if those men who bring God made man to our altars are missing. It is of no use.
Hence, the urgency of the hour and the need to kneel before the Tabernacle is imperative and request for what He commanded us to ask for: “an increase of workers for the harvest”.
The tireless missionary from Alaska, Segundo Llorente, was consumed by the desire to foster vocations. Although it was very difficult for him to do so among the Eskimos, he still urged the Lord that he could bring forth thousands of priests and religious in other lands. He had a lively longing to be the Lord’s instrument in this noble task. Every other great soul cannot but have these same vocational desires.
The times we live in are pressing and oblige us to pay attention to what is essential: souls must be saved. “Give me souls,” Don Bosco used to say, “and keep the rest”. May this be the motto of the women of the 40 Hours, so that having this inner fire in their hearts they may attain for God thousands of new vocations for his Church, always remembering that “he who seeks finds”.
God bless you,
Fr. Bernardo Ibarra, IVE