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A call and a responsibility



Horizons Program: Sharing our spirituality

23/03/2009: Malawi

From Friday February 14th, the group of Brothers following the Horizons Program in Malawi, at Nyungwe received Brother Teofilo from Rome as a resource person for the theme “Marist Spirituality. For some Brothers, it was the first time to be introduced to the document “Water From the Rock”. Brother Teofilo remained with us until Monday afternoon. Despite the short period of time, he was able to present the book clearly and in a very systematic way. Bravo!

After his departure, we continued the study of the document through personal work on Tuesday. Following the recommendation of the commission – “the document is intended, not so much as a text to be read, but as a companion for our spiritual journeys”-, we finished the study of the document with a recollection day. It was a marvelous opportunity to read reflectively and use it more for prayer.

We are very grateful to have been introduced to the document. The passion and the experience of Brother Teofilo made alive the elements of our spirituality and stimulated in us an interest in our spirituality and the need to share it with other people.

Indeed, the introduction on how to read the document is very important. It is easy to miss the richness and unity when someone does not know how the document was written and the meaning of the symbols. It is now our conviction that knowing, living and sharing our spirituality should be at the heart of each Marist Brother. We think that the sharing can take various forms: forums, workshops, prayers, retreats … according to the realities and needs of people we are in contact with.

Among the reflections brothers made about this experience with Brother Teofilo were the following:

“I was impressed by the talk of “a lay person or brother becoming bread to be shared”. As time went on I realized through my meditation that Mary and Marcellin were bread to be shared. Therefore I am called to be bread in order to be shared with my brothers and Sisters”.

“I had seen the book before but never really thought deeply about it. I now realize that it is a treasure set before me. The issues tackled in this book are fundamental to me. It gives me another chance to refocus and redirect myself to my call, not to cling to baseless structures but rather to transcend these as I rejuvenate my life as a Marist”.

A Brother summarized the horizons program as call “back to the roots”. And one way of being in contact with our roots is to find our joy in living our spirituality. By doing so, we can find deep meaning in our spiritual quest and deepen our Marist identity.

The study of different passages related to God, Mary, and Marcellin helped us to discover the image of God, Mary and Marcellin portrayed in the document.

One Brother would prefer to remove the expression “spirituality of simplicity” and use instead “simplicity” only because the inclusion of the word “spirituality” separates it from other pillars and makes it a stand alone spirituality.

As we are about to conclude the Horizons Program, the call to share our spirituality still resonates in our hearts. It is actually our “raison d’être” in the church and therefore our responsibility. Magnificat!

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