[Santa Luisa Province – Madrid] We arrived at Santa Marta of Tormes (Salamanca) on the afternoon of Thursday , June 6 for the Interprovincial Social Action Encounter of the Daughters of Charity. The topic to be shared was: “We are present, we share, and we pass on the message from our interior reflection.”. The group was formed by Sisters and lay collaborators that share our service with those who are poor, children in homes or Day Centres from broken families, immigrants, homeless people, etc.
About 150 people participated in the second part of the encounter, sharing moments of formation, life experiences, celebrations, liturgy and above all, family. In this Vincentian house we are family.
The body and spirit had to be prepared for this interior work, the fundamental base of the course. We started with Pepe, with the experience of different anthropological models, to discern the true meaning of our way in life, to know how to differentiate sin and guilt, and to deepen the sense of alterity and interiority. Silence moved us forward as the way for meditation and transcendence.
On Saturday we continued with José Manuel. He began with the concepts of utopia and eutopía, in opposition to dystopia. People like Thomas More, Sarmina Bilcescu, Martin Luther King, Vincent de Paul and Louise of Marillac helped us to begin the topic. From here, we passed to the Vincentian Charism, and to the essential experience of Vincent de Paul marked by three important aspects of his life. Highlighted were: the option for the poor, trust in Divine Providence and a deep conversion experience. In the afternoon, Patri and Auxi presented the experience of Miguel de Mañara in Seville (a human services centre).
We again worked with José Manuel who helped us to bring the 5 cornerstones that so marked the life of Saint Vincent to the XXI century. His proposition of adaptation to today’s language was:
SIMPLICITY → AUSTERITY
HUMILITY → BALANCE
MORTIFICATION → TRAINING
MEEKNESS → EMOTIONAL INTELIGENCE
ZEAL → ENTHUSIASM
As we concluded this day, we reflected that to live a eutopía exacts a very high price, and it brings weariness and suffering…but it is worthwhile.
On Sunday Carlos introduced us to the experience of looking for a point of support in our work where we are sustained, and how to get there. We started with an analysis of SELF, then going to the OTHER, then to the TEAM and to the ORGANIZATION. When one learns how to know oneself, one is prepared to DANCE with the other, that is to say, to COMMUNICATE. The idea of conflict lost some of its mysteries this day.
At 19:30 we concluded the encounter and started our farewells. We take with us many good experiences lived, learned, shared and interiorised. We will be able to work as a GROUP, but we will prefer to be a TEAM.