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Letting go ... Yesterday, today and tomorrow

26/09/2017: Colombia - Photo gallery

This week began with the final stage of the discovery of the reality of the world and of the Institute, clarifying what is necessary for individuals, Administrative Units and the global body of the Institute to leave behind so as to move into the future. The next phase to begin is to discern what God wants the Marists to be and do into the future.

 

Plan for the week

Br. Óscar Martín, representing the Facilitation Commission, opened the morning session by outlining the program and the process for the coming week. Oscar highlighted the focus of the process, namely: for the Chapter to discern what God wants the Marists to be, and what God wants them to do. This discernment will inevitably lead to identifying key implications. Some themes are already known: Government; Lay Marists, Formation; Children's Rights ... Others will become evident in time.

Considering the following week, from Friday onwards, the election process will begin. This Saturday, it is likely that the theme of the Constitutions and Rule of Life will also begin to be addressed. Also on Saturday, the Chapter will farewell of the 8 lay people invited as guest participants in the Chapter process.

Today's program was previewed as "prayer day". The morning would begin and end with prayer, while in the afternoon there would be time for listening to the Word of God and concluding with Eucharist.

 

Morning prayer

Morning prayer followed the presentation and notices. Br. Tony Leon invited the group to begin the day by meditating Macrina Wiederken's poem, 'Roots and Wings'. This writing highlighted that, “when you love someone, you have to let them go. It-s the only way to keep them”.

 

What to do with the fear that causes the 'new'?

The facilitator, Matthieu Daum, began the first working session by reminding participants that one aspect of last week's work emphasized the fear of diving into the 'new'. Through three "word clouds," he indicated which things from last week Chapter participants said should be abandoned for the Institute to effectively enter the future. He noted how the voice "fear" appeared very strong in the three levels: Personal, Administrative Units and Global Body. He then told participants that in order for them to discover God's will for the Institute, it is necessary for them to be aware of these fears and to see whether there is a disposition among members to defeat these fears.

He proposed that the Chapter participants spend some time in silence and contemplation, listening to how the voice of fear is affecting each of them, in particular whether it is hindering their capacity to “let go”.

After some time of quiet reflection, the participants gathered in Administrative Units and shared on the following three questions:

  1. Personally, what do I feel I can commit to letting go? What would be the first, second or third steps I would need to take to make this commitment?
  2. What as an AU do I feel we can commit to letting go? What would be the first, second or third steps we would need to take to make this commitment?
  3. What do I feel we, as a Global Body, can commit to letting go? What would be the first, second or third steps we would need to take (not solutions) to make this commitment?

 

What are you willing to let go?

The objective of this process was to identify what, from among the elements identified last Saturday, do the participants think can be left behind. In identifying what one needs to leave behind also opens the possibility of discovering what needs to be created.

Participants then spent some time reading all the elements listed on the wall last Saturday that identified what needed to be let go or die at each of the three levels. Further sharing on these elements occurred at the table groups. The morning’s work concluded with the Administrative Units processing to the chapel. Participants then made a commitment before the Lord to abandon whatever no longer needs to be held on to. The pieces of paper they had carried from the Hall naming what need to be let go or die were placed in three vessels, according to the level of commitment: Individual, Administrative Unit or Global Body. These gestures helped ritualize the participants commitment.

 

Afternoon session

The Marian prayer opened the afternoon session. Br. Peter Carroll of Australia led the Marian moment by talking about the Marist Bicentenary icons created by artist Michael Galovic for the Province of Australia. Chapter participants received a copy of the book that depicts the artist’s collected works.

The focus of the afternoon session was on listening. This part of the process invited participants to adopt a listening attitude to discover what God wants Marists to be and to do. Participants were again invited to first spend some time individually reflecting on the following questions:

  1. What do you feel, right now, at this stage of the process? What interior movements can you feel at work in you?
  2. What movements do you pick up are going on in the Chapter Body?
  3. What image, text, or song from the Scriptures or our Marist heritage, comes to your mind and heart that describes where you are, and the movements going on in you?

After personal reflection time, people shared in their fraternity groups.

The day’s work finished with the Eucharist at 6:45

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