[España-Sur Province (SAM)] Of all the images to represent this stage of life, I have chosen as the most appropriate “the ember age”. Embers that have lost their flame, but continue to warm because they are still alive. This is what our life should be like, embers of hope through words and attitudes of flamboyant tenderness towards anyone who comes near looking for warmth: the people who live with us or those whom we serve. What a joy to reach 60 plus years! remaining faithful to the invitation of the Lord: “Come and see!”
Sister Carmen (General Councillor) and Sr. Pilar (Visitatrix) were waiting for us to begin a day that was not wasted, in terms of embers, we would say that it lacked ashes. A mural at the foot of the altar represented the deep prayer that would begin with the motto “The seven Fs of Fraternity”: AFILIATION – FRATERNITY – FIDELITY – JOYFULNESS – FRUITFULNESS – FESTIVITY AND FERVOR all essential for the construction of the community, as essential as the burning coals for the embers to exist.
Sr Carmen Pérez, through different documents of the Company, awakened in us the desire for a “second conversion”. As a preamble, she cited the circular of Mother Guillemin from January 1st, 1968: “Every consecrated life knows the time of that second definitive conversion to faith, in which, free from the illusions inherent in every beginning and in full possession of its human and religious maturity, God invites you to choose with full lucidity, to opt for faith with a view to charity.” Next a tour through the Constitutions and the different inter-Assembly documents: Jacob’s Well, The Crossroads, Lines of Action, The Audacity of Charity, to remember two important ideas:
- The need for training.
Belonging to the Company, bearing in mind the sense of belonging to an
She cited the document “New Wine New Wineskins”, concluding that the wisdom of years is the best school of formation for life, without forgetting that ongoing formation is a duty that we must always enliven. To highlight the sense of Belonging in our life as Daughter of Charity, she cited C.7.a. “Fully surrendered to God …” and on C.16.a.b. “The gift to God has its expression in the service to the poor and to the Community“, “The Community is the first place of belonging of the Daughters of Charity“. She also referred to Fr. Quintano’s article “What do we mean by belonging to the Company”. She introduced to this sense of belonging, the Reorganization of the Provinces as a requirement to live a spiritual path of fidelity. We must work to keep alive the unity between the sisters and the Communities of the unified Provinces. This already exists in Europe, North and South America and Asia, several reorganized Provinces that, like that of España-Sur, are giving an example of unity and belonging. We ended the morning with a group reflection on the Gospel of MK. 12, 28-34. The afternoon exchanges were based on that Gospel with each group sharing their reflections. Two ideas prevailed in the contributions:
- The love of God, the sisters and the poor are the axis on which our lives revolve in order to advance in the project that God has for each one of us.
- The first place of belonging of the Daughter of Charity is the Community, regardless of their differences or human weaknesses.
The finishing touch was the Eucharist of thanksgiving, presided by Fr. José Mª, who referred to the shield of the Company and the seven words that constituted the mural. I quote his words, which magnificently reflect the reflections of the day: “The seven words enunciated flow from the phrase – The Charity of Christ urges us – since we all have the mission to signify and update the love of God in the world, mainly to the poorer and excluded, but we will hardly make this love visible if we do not witness the affiliation, fraternity, fidelity, happiness … After the Eucharist, each sister returned to her Community, (with the charged batteries) or in this case, with the relit embers.
Thanks to the Provincial House Sisters and to all those who, with pleasure and with generosity, have helped us to keep ALIVE THE FLAME !!!