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24 September

Our Lady of Mercy
1836: Saint Marcellin and the first Marist Fathers professed their religious vows

Marist Calendar - September

A testimony

 

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Experience of charismatic growth and vitality in Limache

12/03/2010: Chile

From 9 to 16 January 2010, an experience of charismatic growth and vitality was held at Limache, Chile. Brothers and laity gathered «around the same table» to share Marist life, vocation, mission and charism (read more). This is the testimony of one of the lay participants, Germán Godoy Vicencio.

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After having lived the Marist Experience of charismatic growth and vitality to which I was invited, all of us, Brothers and lay people, returned to our places of origin, convinced that our mission as baptized Christians allows us to follow a discernment in our vocation. It was a true gift from the Lord that we were able to discover within ourselves that our Christian vocation is a joy, and that He invites us to live it each day for ourselves and for others.

I understand better than ever that, thanks to the lay Marist vocation and the Brothers’ vocation, we will be together, united around the same table, a force of hope which encourages our mission to make Jesus known and loved. The point of departure of this experience has been to deepen our lives, questioning ourselves in order to find out where, when and how our personal vocation is born in each of us. For me, it was an opportunity to become aware of the moment when the seed began to germinate in my heart, to realize when different persons have been the true face of God inviting me to follow him thanks to the special call as a lay man. That is where the discovery of Saint Marcellin takes on a great importance in my life, as we are inspired to follow Jesus in a particular way.

It is when we succeed in going deeper into our inner being that dreams surge forth: how we idealise the vocation of a brother, of a lay person. It is not simply a matter of taking account of what the charism signifies, but of discovering that, through the sharing of the mission, the life, the spirituality, we encounter again in a certain manner the invitation made by the Father, thanks to a way, a specific charism, that of Champagnat. Thus we enter into relationship with others and we understand that the shared life and interpersonal relations inspire us more and more to live experiences of fraternal life. The sharing of the mission and the charism can encourage us to make concrete the original dream of helping forge a brotherhood, a community bearing the stamp of Marcellin.

In writing this little summary of the experience lived with a group of seven Brothers and twenty-two laity, I freely recognise that the time spent in sharing in little communities enriched this experience in a particular way. Its fruits have been: drawing closer, knowledge, forming of bonds, understanding, openness and transparency. An outcome, perhaps, of life in brotherhood. Seven days during which we have been united with the aim of rediscovering our vocation, of encouraging each other to follow the way of discernment, at one’s own pace, but without stopping.

Finally, I underline some moments that have been specially notable for me: the times for particular meetings between Brothers and laity, for example, where each « dreamed the other » and told him how he imagined him in community. The continuing prayer, pillar of spiritual growth and a sure means of being with God. The continuing dialogue, sincere, spontaneous, direct. And finally, the continuing inspiration of those whose mission was to direct the meeting. I can say, without fear of being deceived, that to discern my own vocation with joy, is to do it with Jesus, in the manner of Mary showing to Champagnat and his work that we must go in haste in search of a new land.

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Germán Godoy Vicencio
Limache, 16 January 2010

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