The Woman at the Well (John 4)

11 November, 2017


Jesus chooses to sit down – yes, alongside – a person who is triply suspect. First, the person is a woman. As John notes of the disciples, ‘They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or “Why are you speaking with her?” (4:27). They were flabbergasted but did not have the courage to challenge or even question Jesus. Second, she was a Samaritan, despised in Jewish eyes, a source of contamination. Third, she turns out to be a woman with some experience, having had five husbands and a present lover.

Jesus is crossing boundaries, defying conventions, smashing taboos. His promise to the woman of living water (4:10-14) declares: you are worth it, you are acceptable to God; he wants to fill you with his Spirit. You may have a history – you may have a wider experience than most – but God wants you. No wonder the disciples were astonished – confounded. Their minds had to make a somersault!

The living water promised to the woman is not for the purposes of washing, cleaning or purification. There is no suggestion here she needs baptismal cleansing. Rather, Jesus is hailing her potential and her worthiness: “The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” When Jesus looks at this woman he does not look in judgement or condemnation. He celebrates her capacity to bear the living water. He sees the possibilities within. Indeed, one who was an outcaste and a reject becomes an evangelist and ambassador for the gospel. Jesus is unlocking the latent gifts in her – soon she will leave her still empty water jar and rush back into the city saying: “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done!” (4:28)

John is telling us that all people, of whatever ethnicity, orientation or gender, are worthy to become recipients of the living water. And to emphasise this point he has the whole village declaring at the end of the story: “we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.” (4:42) The Greek word for ‘world’ is of course cosmos. Jesus is a cosmic phenomenon. He is opening to all people, of every background, an equal place in God’s Kingdom.

Beyond the Edge, Spiritual Transitions for Adventurous Souls, Andrew D. Mayes, SPCK Publications 2013, p. 58-59



November 3 – Blessed Pio Campidelli, C.P.

3 November, 2017


A photo of the Passionist Sign worn by Blessed Pio Campidelli, C.P., held at Sts. John and Paul’s Monastery in Rome.


O God, you reveal yourself in a marvellous way to the little ones and to the pure of heart. Manifest yourself to us, we beseech you, as you did to Blessed Pio. As our one and true God, grant that we may follow you unceasingly in purity and sincerity of life, loving you above all things and loving others with your love.


At his Beatification on 17th November 1985, Pope John Paul II spoke of the young Passionist, Pio Campidelli –

In the International Year of Youth, Pio Campidelli, Brother Pio of Saint Aloysius, is raised to the glory of the altars. This young man, like savoury salt, gave his life for his land, for his people. He offered his life for the Church, the Pope, the conversion of sinners and his Romangna.

Brother Pio found the fundamental value in his religious life in the very gift of himself. This essential trait of his interior physiognomy was especially evident to others at the moment of his death when “fully aware of his imminent consummation, he continued daily to offer to fulfil his sacrifice perfectly in order to conform himself to the will of God; he offered it for the Church … and in particular for the good of his beloved Romagna (Canonical Process). Only at that moment did the particular note of his virtue express itself, which revealed the style of his entire spiritual experience.

From childhood on, Pio Campidelli, had felt an attraction to prayer, liturgy and religious instruction and, sustained by the good example of his family, he maintained it enthusiastically, showing it with expressions typical of innocent childhood, such as devotion to Our Lady, the Blessed Sacrament, and the Crucified.

Having entered the Passionists, he found there a favourable climate for the development of his predominant desire to live in union with God in his very internal intimacy, and to prepare himself to involve others in this passionate experience through the exercise of priestly ministry. He was not able, however, to attain the priesthood because God called him to himself at the age of twenty one. In the special vow of the Passionists to continue the memory of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, Pio learned how totally to involve his own life, thereby realizing his mission of the specific vocation of his religious family. He came from a poor family, his health was always frail, his intelligence average; yet he never considered his poverty and limitations a misfortune, nor was he frustrated by them. He nevertheless fulfulled his greatest potential because he “sought wisdom in prayer .. from his youth he followed her steps … and found there much instruction” (cf. Sir 51:13-16).

Thus Brother Pio was true “salt for the earth” for those who knew him while he was alive and continues to be “salt” for those who draw near to the luminous testimony of his example”.

[Source: L’Osservatore Romano, 25th November 1985, p. 3]


Your Love For The Cross

29 October, 2017

On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Canonisation of St. Paul of the Cross, Mr. Fabio Avolio, the organist of the Passionist Basilica of Sts. John and Paul in Rome composed a hymn in honour of St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists The hymn lyrics are based on the Final Testament of the St. Paul of the Cross.

Hymn Music

Hymn Lyrics

During the month of November

27 October, 2017

03 Roberto Visconti

3rd November – Feast of Blessed Pio Campidelli, Passionist

13th November – Feast of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, Passionist

16th November 1769 – Approval of the Revised Regulations by Clement XIV and proclamation of “Supremi Apostolatus”

18th November – Feast of Blessed Grimoaldo Santamaria, Passionist

21st November – Feast of the Presentation of Mary

21st November 1887 – Arrival of the First Passionists from the Anglo-Hibernan Province in Australia

22nd November 1720 – St. Paul of the Cross vested with the holy habit by Bishop Gattinara in Alessandria, Italy

20th November 1721 – Ven. John Baptist Danei vested with the holy habit by Bishop Gattinara in Alessandria, Italy

Circular Letter – Fr. General

20 October, 2017

The Circular Letter of Fr. Joachim Rego, C.P., Superior General, for the 2017 Feast of St. Paul of the Cross

Fr. General – 2017 Circular Letter St. Paul of the Cross Feast