WE DISCERN TOGETHER FOR A RENEWED MISSION.

Written by misioneras

19/05/2022

EXTENDED GENERAL COUNCIL 2022.

When I was preparing these words to start our Enlarged General Council, the echoes of the XXII Plenary Assembly of the UISG (International Union of Superiors General) resonated in me, held in Rome from May 2 to 6 with the motto: “Embrace vulnerability on the synodal path”.

I believe that this motto can reflect the moment that we are living as a congregation. If we are here, taking another step in our process that began in November 2020, it is because we are aware of our vulnerability, of the fragility and precariousness of many of our presences and processes, of our communities and mission, because few of us see each other and weak…

I want to share with you some of the reflections of these days that I believe can help us in this moment of meeting and in our support after the process, from our government service.

  • • The transformative potential of vulnerability because life – as we have known it, including religious life, has come to an end -. This does not imply death, but transformation. We are in a moment of grace, a threshold between what was and what is yet to come.
  • • During this period of transition, religious life will spend time reflecting on the best way to care for its members and manage assets, but what about the greatest and best use of the talents, time and energy of its members? ? what about the sustainability of its charism and mission? How to take care of the soul of their communities?
  • • Let us make it possible for grace to intercede and let us be ready to receive it. This is not only an organizational change, but also a commitment to embrace a personal and interpersonal spiritual work of transformation. We were reminded that embracing our vulnerability, living the fullness of our humanity with open hearts, is what transforms us. We were told about leadership in this process and how studies make it very clear that the most important qualities of a leader are to be grounded, honest, real and approachable.
  • • Finally, it is easy to lose hope in times like these, when the challenges are huge, complex and rapidly changing, but the hope of a new life does not rest on the ability to get new members or extend their longevity; but rest in the hearts of existing members or there is no hope.

On the other hand, the CGA in which we find ourselves is a synodal event, which continues a process that, from the beginning, we wanted to have everyone’s involvement. We want to continue walking together, in co-responsibility and with a sense of body.

To take up the words of the UISG: the only way to proceed wisely is to stay close to God and to what God is doing, to remember God’s faithfulness in times past, but to forget enough to be able to realize the new things that God is doing in the present.

The founding charism and traditions are a firm place to stay, but it must be open to the future. We have to embrace uncertainty with curiosity, because what God is doing cannot be named in advance, but it can be perceived if we are attentive, if we live with certain dispositions and attitudes, with contemplative wonder, compassionate attention and hope.

I want to end with a few words from Pope Francis who, in his audience, told us:

The Church learns from her Master that, in order to give her life, serving others, she is invited to recognize and welcome her own fragility and, from there, bow down before the fragility of the other.

And she also invited us to make our own synodal path, where young and old exchange their wisdom and visions of consecrated life; where all cultures sit at the same table of the Kingdom; where stories are processed in the light of the risen Jesus and his forgiveness; where the laity can participate in your spiritualities.

These words can become prayer in us today, asking the Lord that the recognition of our vulnerability and weakness brings us closer to the weak and vulnerable and that we can truly live in synodality… AMEN

Maria Joaquina Lozano Lopez, MCI

Superior General

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