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3 August

Marist Calendar - August

The implications of the dreams of the brothers and lay members



A mandala to share the implications

12/09/2007: Brazil

The morning prayer today (7 September) was animated by the brothers and lay members from Australia who were inspired by the traditions and the cosmological vision of the aboriginal people of their country, who live in communion with nature. They began with an account from Alice Springs, an Australian town where there is a Marist school. There the mythology that explains the origin of the world for the aboriginal people is passed on from generation to generation. The mythology tells how two great caterpillars, who arrive by different routes, meet in a great cave. The rivalry soon becomes clear, but at that very moment a huge dog appears and acts as a mediator between them. In this way a dialogue is established and the caterpillars little by little become friends, and they remain together there, giving birth to the mountains and valleys of the region. Ever since that time aboriginal people honour mother earth with great respect.

Working with the mandala

The Assembly made an analysis of the implications of the dreams that had been shared by the brothers and the lay members. Mercier Procopier, who works at UMBRASIL, explained that a mandala is a symbol that symbolises a “sacred circle” and engaged the participants in an active way in explaining the subject. Many people use the mandala to establish an intuitive relationship between humankind and the universe. In the assembly this aid for reflection was used to establish a relation between the hearts of the brothers and the lay people and the future of the Institute and its mission.

Like all new techniques this one aroused some curiosity, in an atmosphere of joy and high spirits, but at the same time a certain suspicion. Equipped with brushes, scissors, glue, paper and so on, the members of the Assembly sat on the floor like primary school students and began to design, paint, cut, paste… This graphic expression was the way in which the intuitions of the various groups were conveyed to the other members of the Assembly.

The mandala provided a means of moving from the discussion of concepts to the expression of intuitions. One of the first tasks confronting the group was just how to produce in a concrete way what was to be at the very centre of the mandala. The centre is radiant, its brilliance shedding light on the meaning of the other elements.

The national day of Brazil

Today was the national holiday of Brazil. The name “Brazil” is derived from the name of a tree that is native to these parts. The Brothers have been in this country for a hundred years already, and Marist works flourish under the mantle of Our Lady of Aparecida, their guardian. The members of the Assembly gave thanks to the Lord and our Good Mother for the blessings they had bestowed upon the Brazilian people and on Marist woks. At the end of one of the morning sessions the national flag was honoured and the national anthem played. During the celebration that followed the dinner, the typical “caipirinha” was served at the bar on the house.

The hymn of the Assembly

The International Marist Mission Assembly also has its own hymn, composed by the group “Kairoi”. The words are very meaningful: “It is in your hands to make a better world”, “give life to your mission”, be sowers of good news and freedom to those who live under oppression”, “and new life will beat in your heart.”

The music was composed to be in rhythm with the heartbeat, to resonate with the simplest actions of each day, like an act of communion with everything and with all who are around us. It is a melody that invites us to sing along at any time and many a time, like a mantra that keeps on repeating the deep and moving sentiment, “one heart, one mission”.

The hymn brings about once again an atmosphere of shared prayer. “We are the many who wish to march with the dream of Champagnat: and as we make our way on our journey all of us share the same song, that very same song, the song of us all.

The melody can be heard with words in Spanish on the web
At the same site the words of the hymn in different languages can be accessed.


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