Fr. Arnold Janssen
Arnold Janssen’s spirituality was centred on love and veneration of the Blessed Trinity. His image of God was that of the Trinity, a communion of Persons, present in human history and the driving force of the mission. Arnold’s image of Jesus was the Divine Word is his sacred humanity, expressed in the Church of his time by the devotion to the Sacred Heart. His deepest desire was that the Divine Word might live in all hearts, so that in his Spirit all hearts would become a worthy dwelling for the Triune God.
A further characteristic of Arnold’s spirituality is his devotion to the Holy Spirit. Fr Arnold consecrated himself totally to the God of Love. His attitude of constant listening to the Spirit in order to discover the will of God was one of the foundational pillars of his spirituality.
The political and religious situations of many countries were challenges, which opened Arnold’s mind and heart to the call of the Lord to Mission. “Mission” then became the one single driving force of his life, which made him capable of continually transcending himself and placing all his talents and resources at the service of the Reign of God.
Fr Arnold’s direct response was to found the Society of the Divine Word; in the course of time he also recognised the need for a complementary mission Congregation of women. This became concrete reality in the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit founded together with Helena Stollenwerk and Hendrina Stenmanns.
Our co-Foundresses passed on to us the following aspects of their spirituality, which became fundamental characteristics of our congregational spirituality and charism:
- universal mission ideal
- special devotion and openness to the Holy Spirit
- unconditional surrender to God’s will
- spirit of contemplation and love for the Eucharist