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A bifocal gaze



Meeting of the Secretariat of the Laity

04/03/2016: General House

Brother Emili’s invitation normally gathers us in Rome, in February, as well as the co-directors of the Secretariat and various groups of the general administration. They are integration days. It meant for us a beautiful experience of dialoguing and encountering the General Council and various commissions. In our dialogue with the Council, we perceived that our Institute can have a new evangelizing and charismatic identification which is more broad than the life of the Brothers. We realized that the Constitutions allow us to offer a new vocational profile of the Brothers where the charism (spirituality, fraternity and mission) is shared with the laity. When speaking with Brothers Today, we concluded that there are common spaces for formative processes. We realised that the witness of the life of the Brothers and laity has a place within the proposal of the New Models of Governance. We found the same spirit of Champagnat when we looked at the different Marist expressions in the Institute’s regions.

I try to look at the experience of Rome with a bifocal gaze, which allows one to look from a far and from up close. Which stops itself to look at what is small, but also contemplates in the same way what is global. Which integrates. It is the look towards a new beginning, which leads towards unity, integration, harmony and communion. The bifocal attitude that Jesus gives us. He incarnates the human and the Divine. He integrates sin with grace, what is temporary with what is eternal. The bifocal gaze integrates utopias and realism, fidelity and creativity, continuity and rupture.

Through a “bifocal attitude” we can integrate physical aging with charismatic rejuvenation, the unsuspected and unpredictable with what is planned and anticipated, a future of hope with a difficult moment in history, the courage to change with the rhythms of the Institute that are sometimes slow.

The meeting in Rome was full of content and inspiration. Brothers and laity who continue to opt for Jesus and his Gospel. A rich mosaic of proposals and projects for the forthcoming General Chapter. It is a call to integrate the immediacy with the global, the partial with the whole, the provincial with the international, in a horizon of transcendence, which is God's promise.

With Him, it is possible to overcome our dichotomies, divisions, disparate views. He teaches us to look far to see wide horizons, bearers of grace and life. With Him, we will know how to read his loving Word come true, that has made history, in every Brother, in every layperson, in each work, in each project in each community of the Institute.

The intense days of meeting with Pep, Tony and the different committees awakened in me this glance.


Br Javier Espinosa
Director of the Secretariat for the Laity

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