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Novitiate in Medellín, Colombia

10/02/2010: Colombia

“There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building. A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing. A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing. A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away. A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking. A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8)

Brothers and sisters, accept a warm greeting in Jesus and Mary, and the hope of many blessings for you in the year just beginning. We wish to share with you these few lines after our return to the Province of América Central, after finishing our novitiate in Medellín, Colombia. These have been days of great joy, of many conflicting feelings, and, above all, of experiencing the emotions of reunion with family, friends and homeland, which have been transformed for us into a  “grace” and into a “discrete presence” of the Lord in our journey.

We have been able to accompany the reality of our people, where there are entire families who have had to leave everything, not by choice but by force (by means of extortion). So sadness, lamentation, fury, pain…Above all, to experience impotence, because if you open your mouth you will be the next to be silenced… They have no other choice than to look for a new beginning in another land, to live in   “anonymity” and be born anew. God willing, that would be a call for all Christians. For the moment all that remains is to trust that everything will be sorted out, but some questions come to mind for us: What are we doing about the matter as Brothers and as society? Can we be “significant” in the midst of our actual situation?

Within this framework and with the experience lived during our family visits, we celebrated on 02 January our First Religious Profession in El Salvador. Convinced and reconfirmed in the choice of life we wish to lead, still amidst the difficulties of the journey we are going to undertake, we unite ourselves with Paul in saying: "In Christ we live and move and have our being" (Acts. 17: 28).

We sensed that our religious profession was an “experience of God” for the journey of all those who were able to accompany us, to be able to share the joy of our Profession. For this, the invitation which Br. Emili Turú expressed to us in his Christmas message had a profound echo for us: “There is no place for sadness when life is born. In the silence of our hearts, we recognize that our life is fuller thanks to Jesus passing through it.”

With our Profession we were strengthened, with the freedom that the Lord has granted us, in the conviction that it is possible for LIFE  to be born in the midst of the  DEATH  and INJUSTICE  which today lie in wait for us in our Salvadorean and Latin American society. We feel very happy to share in the joy of being  Marist, sharing our lives and time with the poor children and youth of  Zone 6 in Guatemala.

 

We are grateful to Fr. Leopoldo Sosa (parish priest of Ateos) for his presence and his words of encouragement which keep coming back to us every day: “Javier and  René…Don’t be afraid, because the leaf of a tree does not move without God willing itConfíde in God in spite of your doubts, trust like Mary, who kept everything in her heart.…”

Thanks to all for your prayers, because we know that from a distance many also have been “connected” with us, by their support, their love and their advice. May Mary our companion in her generous Yes continue to bless and accompany each of our lives.

 

“Let us recover the heart of our life as Brothers, as consecrated religious, to become for the world living reminders of the Gospel.”

(Letter of the XXI General Chapter to the Brothers and Laity)

_____________________
Brs. Javier Hernández and René Montes.

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