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Meeting in Schönstatt

23/11/2013: Germany

During the week-end of 25th till 27th October our Province had the pleasure of welcoming our Superior General, Brother Emili Turú, who spoke to us about his circular, He gave us the name of Mary.

What he had in mind was not so much to re-read the circular but, rather, to deepen it. What lies behind the written word? That is the question.

The starting point for the meeting was the recently renovated house in La Valla. The architect has designed a three-storeyed ensemble. The cellar, furnished with a small cave, is the symbol of the inner life, the mystical dimension of our Marist vocation. The ground floor expresses the community space, with the table of our holy Founder, Marcellin, and the first brothers. This room retains a feeling intimacy, but has become more spacious. The upper floor gives access to a large, bright room with lots of natural light to symbolise the missionary dimension.

This little diversion allowed us to link the circular with our vocation. Brother Emili invited us to contemplate the icons of the Annunciation, the Visitation, and Pentecost as he spoke of three "I's:

* for Interiority: The icon of the Annunciation depicts a moment of interiority. Mary is aware of God's presence. In her heart God is stirring. This is quite a mystical dimension, suggested by this moment in the history of salvation.

*or Inclusion: During the Visitation Mary joins her cousin Elizabeth. The movement of the two children in the womb stands for the sharing of the inner life as a community. Two hearts come together, feeling that they carry God's promise to Israel.

* for Interaction: The icon of Pentecost expresses the idea of being sent out on mission. Inspired by the Spirit, a new wind is blowing in the heart of the Church.

This session, which linked the three icons with the renovation of our house in La Valla, took place against the backdrop of the site at Schönstatt (near Koblenz, Germany), a site which breathes a practical Marial spirituality and invites contemplation.

Brother Maurice Godenir

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