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Water from the Rock - Novitiate of Medellín

10/06/2008: Colombia

In reading and analyzing some sections of the second and third chapters of our document “Water from the Rock” we simply wanted to give shape to certain ideas that, so we believe, are important to the study of the document. In doing so, we were attempting to strengthen our Spirituality and become more aware of the fullness of spiritual wealth inherited from Marcellin and the first Brothers.

Second Chapter

We found here a very moving invitation to cultivate an attitude of openness which allows us to be attentive, just as Mary was, to what the Spirit is inspiring in us. Mary welcomed Jesus’ teachings in her heart and med-itated upon them. Like her, we feel called to bring our mission into prayer so that we may find harmony and balance in our lives. Our mission, there-fore, will commit us more and more to the people with whom we are working. We allow ourselves to be formed by the Spirit. Attentive interpretation of events is the source which inspires us to discover the road on which to proceed. In a parallel way, it was through the encounter with John Baptist Montagne that Marcellin knew very quickly what God wanted of him.

In our Marist history, the followers of Champagnat have used several means to nourish their spiritual life. These were the means by which they were able to grow in sanctity. In our times too, some essential practices exist to cultivate our life of faith as Marists. Here are the ones offered by document (cf WfR 80-87):

(1) Lectio Divina or meditation of the word of God. God’s word invites us to interpret our personal history as salvation history. (2) Personal and community prayer, through which we place all our being in the hands of the Lord, share our mission, our dreams and our hopes, etc. (3) Revision of the day, to discover God’s presence in our journey of faith. (4) Sharing faith: in so doing we help each other and are mutually enriched. (5) Accompaniment: to discern God’s presence in our daily life and, as a consequence, to strengthen both our human and spiritual development. (6) Eucharist and Reconciliation as spiritual elements allowing us to discover Jesus present in our midst, giving us courage for mission: gathered, blessed, broken and offered.

We might understand the preceding reflections by means of this sentence: We thank the Lord who has blessed us. We need to know that God is working in us. In moments of solitude, we cultivate our interior life so as to interpret our history with different eyes. Finally, identifying our-selves with Christ, we feel called to serve our brothers and sisters.

Third Chapter

In the part which we studied, we discovered the importance of Mary as a model of life, inspiring our fraternal relationships. We let ourselves be captured by her sensibility and by her attention to the people most in need. If we cultivate her attitudes, she will help us to be witnesses who strengthen the faith of our brothers and sisters. In Mary, we discover a new way of being Church, with a mother’s heart opened to forgiveness, ready and able to welcome, to comfort, to listen and to dialogue.

On the one hand, we have also seen that community life is not an easy way; there are limits, fragility and differences. It is necessary to cultivate a continuous process of reconciliation to sustain fraternal life, making of Christ the centre of the community. Sharing faith may be a way both to overcome difficulties and to make of our communities schools of faith. In short, living our daily lives in depth allows our prayer and our liturgical celebrations to be more meaningful. We know that the words Brother and Sister express the Marist style of relating to other people. The Marist fraternity, therefore, becomes a trustful sign of hope for others.

On the other hand, we see that the document makes an urgent appeal regarding the need to create intercultural structures, enabling us to live in a constructive way the great richness we have. Thereby we celebrate, at one and the same time, God’s presence discovered in nature and in the whole of creation.

In relationship to the last idea, we found a significant ecological dimension that invites us to feel ourselves part of a world that goes beyond our borders. The ecological dimension inspires us to love our planet and to maintain the balance of nature, creating in this way an atmosphere of acceptance, of mutual respect, of justice and of participation.

Finally, we are invited to be willing to form life-bearing communities. We take into account Jesus words, which are part of our Founder’s Spiritual Testament: Love one another.

____________________
Written by
Nicolás Arteaga
José Miguel Caballero
Javier Cedeño
Marino Muñoz
Marco Antonio Vargas

Novitiate of Medellín, April 27, 2008

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