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From “to help the dawn to rise” of Br Basilio Rueda to “to awaken the dawn” of Br Emili Turú

17/06/2013: General House
General Conference 2013

At the General Conference of 1971, Br Basilio Rueda consecrated in a certain way the expression « To help the dawn to rise », which appears also in some of his writings and conferences. Forty years later, the General Conference of 2013 proposes the slogan « To awaken the dawn » which Br Emili Turú has already commented on in some of his letters. Two similar expressions at two different times in our history.

BasilioIn conclusion, I repeat: I feel a new strength rising in me without any help of mine, to strengthen and help develop within the Institute the new changes that the Holy Spirit sends to us. I should like to add that my desire to strengthen what is authentic will force me to be opposed to what is not authentic even though this may cause some hardships to some Brothers, and bring requests to leave the Institute. I am not afraid of changes, nor am I taken up by spirit of conservatism, but rather, I want these changes to come about and produce results. As Yves Congar said: “We must help the dawn to rise”.

(Br Basilio Rueda, Conclusion of his« Meditation out loud of a Superior General
To his Brother Provincials”, General Conference, May 1971)

I remember reading the expression “to force the dawn to be born” for the first time in the writings of Br. Basilio Rueda, who was the Marist Superior General in the post-conciliar years. They are words that I believe serve very well to summarise his 18 years of leadership in the Institute. But it was probably Giorgio La Pira, the popular “holy mayor” of Florence, who used it most often, quoting the French poet Rostand: "it is at night that it is fine to believe in the light; one must force the dawn to be born by believing in it".

EmiliIf we believe in the potentiality of the new dawn, instead of being still submerged in the night, it is because the mission that has been commended to us has its origin in the mission of God: “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature. For it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she takes her origin in accordance with the decree of God the Father…” This fills us with hope, because we recognise the mysterious presence of God, active in the world and in history. When we thought that we were going to take God to others, it happened that He was already there. We awake from our dream, like Jacob, and recognise: “the Lord was here and I did not know it” (Gen 28:16).

We are not the great actors of the mission, but pilgrims with God and with the others, until He “becomes all in all” (1 Cor 15:28).The womb of the night contains all the potential of a most beautiful dawn.

(Conference of Br Emili Turú 10 December 2010
in the Theological Institute of Religious Life, Madrid

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General Conference 2013

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