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II International Marist Mission Assembly

 

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Friday 19 September: The fire that makes us burn

19/09/2014: Kenya
Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

Morning dawns brightly and the community gathers around a bonfire. The material symbol indicates the interior fire we feel, which is the love of God which unites us all. “This fire is the God’s loving dream for each of us, for the Institute, for humanity. This fire gives sense to our existence, feeds our convictions, and inspires our actions and our mission”. Thus the guide which each has received to pray this morning around the fire.

 

The guidelines for the day’s reflection

To initiate the work and reflection of the day, the members of the assembly are given a global view of its development and its principal objectives to help them situate themselves better. The Assembly represents the many situations of the Institute and so the horizon needs to be widened to take in the whole Institute. It must listen to the Spirit in order to grasp what it is saying to the Marist Institute today, so as to find the consensus which aids the journey into the future. To help define this perspective, a diagram illustrates the road the activity of the Assembly must follow in the next few days.

 

An analysis of the situation

Brother Josep María Soteras helps the Assembly center its reflection by stating that this meeting is not devoted simply to studying the mission, but the mission, Marist spirituality and the new relationship between brothers and laity. These three realities “mutually strengthen or weaken one another”. His reflection is directed “to present an overall view of the three, but from the perspective of the Spirit,” starting from the calls of Mendes and the 21st General Chapter.

From the calls, he emphasizes those which highlight the words “novelty” or “new,” such as when the Chapter asks us for a “new mode of being”, because the “newness which makes us brothers” or “the new element of our relationship” come above all from being and not from what we do. And he concludes by saying that “doing is a magnificent manifestation of being”.

Analyzing the “laity and brothers relationship” highlights the fact that the newness must be born from a “mature relationship” which accomplishes “communion”. And communion is accomplished at the level of being. When maturity of identity has been achieved, true relationship begins. The other neither weakens nor attacks me, but helps me be myself. Here begins a “spiritual journey” of maturity which lasts a lifetime. And in this case, “the relationship of communion” becomes a “vocation”. For this reason, life needs to be planned as “vocation”.

With the conclusion of the presentation of Br Soteras the Assembly listened to three testimonies from participants. The first was from Marie Elia (Madagascar) who spoke about her spiritual experience in contact with the Marist charism. Then Br Leonard Brito (Southern Africa) emphasized his living of faith in relationship with Christ and Mary. Finally, Matloob Hayat (South Asia), from Pakistan, described his relationship with difficult students and his care for the most needy in the field of education.

During the first part of the afternoon, six workshops were held: Interiority (Br Oscar Martín), Inter-religious experience (Br Michael De Waas), Experience of God in daily life (Maureen Hagan), Silence and contemplation (Br Emili Turú), Gathered around the Word (Br Michael

Green), Praying from music (Manu Gómez). While the workshops were running, the group of 12 young people taking part in the Assembly had a meeting to discuss the contribution they wished to make.

The day concluded at the feet of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a Marial celebration animated by the delegates from Mexico.

______________
AMEstaún, 19 September

Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

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