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Final retreat of Group ’76 at Siguënza

03/01/2007: Spain

To finish these five months of grace that we spent at El Escorial, we retired to the house of welcome that the brothers have at Siguënza, accompanied by Brother Benito Arbués, whom we thank fraternally for his accompaniment.
All throughout our life, and especially now, our challenge as believers and consecrated Marists consists in being able to recognise God in people, in events and particularly in the Church and in our Congregation.
We realised that we learn to recognise God ordinarily in our life and in our decisions. We are convinced that “no one will produce fruit if he does not stay in Christ.” To discover this in our life was a great joy since perhaps sometimes we have seen it far off, and nevertheless, there it was in us. It is enough to recognise it, to accept it and to decide for him who is the source of our fruitfulness.
After having walked along the pathways of life for about fifty years, we note that beyond our delirium and our different illusions “God alone is enough.”
We thank God for belonging to a religious family that has given us so much since we were small. As Little Brothers of Mary we have discovered that “He consoles us, so that we can console” and to look at the world full of mercy. From this experience we understand the call reiterated in solidarity in which we are immerged as a Church and as a religious Institute.
The religious life to which we feel invited is in renewal:
a) obliged and passionate; we suffer from so much marginalisation of children and young people – these are the majority – and the religious ignorance in this post-modern culture.
b) for all humanity; injustice, peace and the search for a worthy life for all.
c) to accept ourselves as the image of the image: Christ Jesus. As a consequence our life must be a simple and visible testimony to the attitudes and sentiments of Jesus.
On our return to our Provinces of origin, we will feel the passionate call that Jesus made to the religious and cultivated man who asked him who is his neighbour: “Go and do the same”, following the model of the Good Samaritan.
“It is I who chose you so that you would bear fruit.” This certitude gives us the courage to not allow ourselves be carried away by the criteria of the world, thinking to put ourselves in retirement to rest, but we are consecrated to the mission while our history lasts.
Now, we need to seek the essential. Already our life is taking the last impulse, leading us towards God as our sole absolute. The radical experience of God and the contemplative dimension of life are the calls that we experience as the radical forces of our life and future action.
We finish this experience with the conviction that our work in the future is: “To love as God loves me.” We are grateful to the community of the house at Siguënza for their welcome and testimony of a Marist life that is simple and fraternal.

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