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2nd January 2005

04/01/2005: General House

“New year, new life”, is a popular saying that you can often hear repeated during these first few days of the year in many countries of the world. A synthesis of a long list of New Year’s resolutions could include: a new sport and exercise rhythm, a new stimulus for prayer, a new diet, new personal relationships that are more cordial and more profound, a greater effort in work, a privileged time for a better quality of life and to live more with friends, brothers and family, new rhythms for reading, acquisition of skills so as to be more expert in the use of computers and the latest model of a mobile phone…
Frequently such hopes remain only as proposals without ever being realised. The people in Mexico have an expression that explains this situation quite clearly “Me dices que me quieres, pero no me dices cuando!” - “You tell me that you care for me but you don’t say when!”
These experiences of everyday life make us think about the importance of the present time and of human decisions. This time is a Providential experience of profound calling, internal inspirations and of simple commitments but an upsetting time for those who live only in the first person. In the biblical tradition this time is called “kairos” – the opportune time, the time of a passionate God present in the human story. But because this time truly bursts into the story of our lives, it needs to be welcomed by real people and through precise human decisions.

Today we are celebrating the 188th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute of the Marist Brothers. Such a foundation occurred in an opportune time, a time of kairos. And this time became a reality thanks to the generous and audacious acceptance of a young priest who was 27 years old.

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