The second day of the meeting could be summarized in the Swahili expression “Hakuna Matata” made so famous by the movie “The Lion King” in 1994. The common thread of this day was the retreat presided over by Carlos Sánchez, General Prefect of Spirituality, with the gospel text of John 15: 1-17 at its center.
After the Eucharistic adoration and the morning prayer animated by the ACLA brothers, the first morning session focused on the first part of the text (Jn. 15: 1-8) from the permanence-rooting key, while the afternoon focused on the second part of the text (Jn. 15: 9-17) from the fruitfulness-audacity key.
In the morning, Carlos accompanied us in the discernment of the different modes of permanence-rooting, from “staying without being” to permanence in creative faithfulness; faithfulness to the charism and to one’s own vocation is impossible if there is no room for renewal. After the presentation, we were invited to meditate “what does it mean “to remain” in this moment of our life? How does God prune us? What would be the commitments so we can become more rooted?
The afternoon session focused on the fruitfulness-audacity binomial; the apostle’s fertility is not made of lanterns and garlands; it is not “spectacular”. It is rooted and delivered love that reveals us limited, fragmented, and fragile, and that reveals the power of God just as it was revealed in those men and women who go from fear to being audacious witnesses of the risen Christ after the cross.
According to Carlos, the text of Isaiah 61:1 “the Lord is upon me and has anointed me…” comes late to Fr. Claret’s life, in 1859, but becomes a “key” text for him and for us because it is like the keystone of the arch that supports the rest of the voussoirs: the other biblical texts that inspired the life of Fr. Claret. It is amid persecution and hostility towards his mission work that he discovers that missionary success is not in the applause of the world, but in recognizing oneself as anointed and sent by the Spirit.
During a crisis, only the experience of deep faith keeps us afloat, hakuna matata-no worries. Does it surprise you? Fr. Xifré was also surprised by Fr. Claret’s so positive “Hakuna Matata” spirit in his response to the account Xifré made of the debacle of the Congregation -which according to some had received a death blow-in the liberal revolution of 1868 in Spain.
We are a family that was born audacious and has many brave stories: that of the 270 martyrs of the Spanish Civil War; that of post-conciliar renewal and our commitment to serving Religious Life; that of the footprints of men like Dimberger, Casaldáliga and so many Claretian brothers who in their simple and quiet service won the hearts of the people.
Today is also a time of audacity, Carlos reminded us, the audacity to challenge the limits that interculturality, clericalism, individualism, and acedia… impose on our missionary vocation.
The day of retreat ended with the Eucharist, which coincidentally offers as the gospel of the day the text of the election of the apostles. After a night of prayer with the Father, Jesus possesses enough “hakuna matata” to propose to these 12 men what seems foolish in the eyes of many: “come and follow me.”
Francisco Carín, CMF, Chronicler of the Day