[Provinces of Spain] An Initial Formation meeting took place from 28 November to 1 December in Los Almendros (Madrid). We were joined by Lola Arrieta and Cova Orejas, Carmelite Sisters of Charity of Vedruna, who participate in the well-known Accompaniment Project “Ruaj”. They were in charge of presenting the theme: “The story of one’s life lived as a vocation” and giving us the tools to achieve the goal we set at the beginning: Rethinking our life as a vocation and remembering the near past by keeping it in our hearts and opening ourselves to the future with thankful and hopeful faith.
Through an imaginary line that represented our years of belonging to the Company, we indicated the inflection points, moments that have generated sadness, joy, confusion, unease… Some of them are stored away in the “trunk” of what is not spoken, yet they have configured us as we are today. It was very constructive to share in pairs the re-reading that each one of us had done and share it later in a group. We were also invited to become aware of where we were walking and detect the concerns and difficulties that worried us.
We took another step by the hands of a witness given us by the Lord, Isaiah: “Here I am, send me” (Is 6,8). In line with the text, we deepen what it teaches us, specifically in 3 elements that must be taken into account to live life as a vocation: a theophany experience, the consecration process that is forging us and sending on a mission.
With the desire to live every day more connected to Him, that is, to live life being conscious of it as a mission, we began the day. We walked together the “Street of Tasks” in which we deepen the premise that “Being adult is defined, among other things, for the ability to work,” reminding us that tasks are not the mission; the “Neighbourhood Motivations” where we discovered that “what we do is important, but even more is what moves us in what we do” and how important it is to identify the primary motivations to improve their management as well as to feed those secondary motivations that move us to do and how much we do. Finally, there was the “High Street,” where we were encouraged to ask for the gift of the Spirit to walk towards a process of reunification of “living life as a mission” and the Neighborhood Fraternity to live in the attitude of daughters/sons and brothers/sisters.
We dedicated Sunday to delving into different points of special interest that have been a concern in our vocational journey: confused witnesses who take other paths, difficulties in integrating life as a mission, needs that underlie primary motivations and how the more they are balanced the better we can respond in our dedication to others. We examined values that are of vital interest, relationship with God in times of adversity, loss of significant people, importance of becoming aware of the presence of God in our life through moments of intimacy with Him, discovering the personal vocation within the common vocation and the difficulty of giving to God the center of our life and separating our own Self.
We ended this magnificent meeting thanking God for all He had given to us, with the conviction of the need to continue deepening in our human formation in order to be the Servants the Lord and the people wants. As always, we express our gratitude to the Sisters of the House who always welcome us with a joyful cordiality.
Sister Maria José Alias, D.C.