Madrid, Spain. The fourth English batch of Forge Claretian Renewal Encounter has fruitfully completed the first phase and just entered the second phase, Missionaries in Community: Caritas Christi. The second phase pivots on the second process of transformation envisaged by the XXV General Chapter, with the reflection focusing on the following of Christ. The core experience of this second phase will be pilgrimage to the Holy Land, walking the land Jesus walked and meditating on his paschal mystery and our discipleship in community. The pilgrimage begins on May 11 and ends on 19.
The first phase focused on the third process of transformation identified by the General Chapter, being adorers of God the Father. The key experience of this phase of “being in the House of the Father” was a 9-day spiritual exercises in a 12th century Cistercian monastery of Buenafuente de Sistal. The participants were unanimous in their appreciation for the profound experience at the monastery that nourished their contemplative hearts. They immersed themselves in spiritual exercises, meditating on the three nuclei of the Forge dynamics – Patris Mei, Caritas Christi, and Spiritus Domini – rooted in the Word of God and nourished by various forms of prayer such as mindfulness meditation, centering prayer, and lectio divina.
The first phase of Patris Mei had a fitting end on May 4-5, with the Father General of the Congregation – Fr. Mathew Vattamattam – animating sessions for two days and meeting with the participants personally to accompany them in their process of transformation. The Forge cohort carries the entire Congregation in their prayerful midst, by praying for each Major Organism of the Congregation every day. And they seek the prayerful accompaniment of the Congregation as well.