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Ad gentes retreat based on “Water from the Rock”

24/08/2008: Thailand

After this retreat I feel obliged to thank all those who had been working in the wonderful book “WATER FROM THE ROCK”. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit to the whole Congregation. The sharing we have had during this week (4-9 July) at the beautiful resort of HUA HIN (Thailand) has enriched me in a very surprising way. I was amazed with what I have been discovering during the retreat.

Since the presentation of the Introduction about the evolution of our Spirituality for Brothers and Lay people, my eyes were open to a new concept of Marist mission and missioning. The power points, the texts coming from both the Water from the Rock and the Bible, the interesting presentations and the personal examples given by the animator of the retreat have opened my mind and my heart to the unsuspected richness we have in our new book of spirituality.

On the first Chapter “DRAWING FROM STREAMS OF LIVING WATER”, I have discovered some new features of our “Marcellinian Spirituality”. All biblical references stressed in a theologian style God’s love for us. The different POEMS were really something that enriched the different presentations. And the fire of the “preacher” both in his words and examples helped me to be more enthusiastic and more convinced about our Marist Spirituality. I also enjoyed on this Chapter the presence of Mary and the marial imprint we all have as Marist brothers.

The second Chapter is asking us to “JOURNEY IN FAITH”. I was struck by the strength put in the essential theme based on the EUCHARIST. The explanation of number 86 and the power point “To become bread” used to illustrate it were simply marvelous and of great density. Personally I appreciate it because it is in the Lord where we put our hope. If we don’t have this clear on our Mission AD GENTES, we can easily lose the goal of being sent to proclaim God as our way of life.

I enjoyed very much the presentation of the third Chapter “AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS”, this part of the “Water from the Rock” was really new for me and I understood the tenderness of God together with the tenderness of our Blessed Mother. Indeed, if I continue being a Marist brother this is the main reason of my perseverance.

The fourth Chapter “BRINGING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR”, with the original presentation of the “Circles of the Mission” allowed me to understand the different aspects of our spirituality, in other words, the dimension of our apostolate. And of course the most difficult part of this Chapter is my own conversion.

I think our “preacher” has been “BROKEN BREAD” for all of us, to use the words he stressed so much as he was explaining the second and the third chapters. May God shower upon all who are spreading among us the riches of Water from the Rock the graces they need to continue being a prophetic voice wherever they are sent to share the “WATER FROM THE ROCK”. From this living water we all want to continue drinking as we did during this week.
Br. Herihu
Hua Hin (Thailand), 10th July 2008

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