IT STARTS WITH LISTENING

Our experience of the Day of Claretian Vocations

By Krisantus Emanuel Nurak CMF

 

We are all clearly aware that our life’s calling starts with Jesus Himself. Jesus abandoned His Glory to find us and offers us His life through His words and His works. The proper way to respond to His calling is by first, lending our ears to listen and discern, and after the process of discernment, we reply to Him. Listening is one of the basic foundations of practicing our faith to follow Jesus. Mary of Magdalene knows Jesus because she listened to His greetings. In the Old Testament, the intimate relationship of the Israelites with the Lord is framed under the phrase “Shema Israel” – Listen, Israel. And thus, it is important for us to continue to learn to listen thoroughly to further renew our calling throughout the time.

It was good news when the Congregation decided to make 31 May as Claretian Vocation Day. We celebrated this moment together with our brothers and sisters by listening to their stories. We must ensure that our life’s calling make certain impact to others. Our constitutions (CC) clearly require us to share the joy of our calling to many people (cf. CC 58). Of course, the CC do not only require us to share with the youth, but also to children and the elderly. And thus, the Claretian Vocations Day is not only seen as a way to reach more calling to be a Claretian missionary, but also to share the joy of choosing to respond to our calling as Claretian priests or brothers, both religious missionaries. This is the good news of our life that we should celebrate. And thus, to celebrate this great moment, we, the Independent Delegation of Indonesia – Timor Leste will organize some Offline and Online events that will involve the youth, children, the elderly, the RMI sisters, and also, we, the Claretian missionaries in every parish and in Claretian formation houses.

Offline Event/Reaching Out

The current offline event is inspired by the celebration of Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, as well as the 56th World Communication Day. These two celebrations require us to “reach out” by visiting our brothers and sisters and starts to open channel of communication with them. Our Lady communicates joy that she felt to her relative, Elizabeth, and it was well understood by both Elizabeth and the baby in her womb, up to the point that the baby jumped in joy. And thus, to ensure the realization of this event, we are working together with the prefects of Bible and Communication to “reach out” by meeting and open channel of communication with more people; the Claretian missionaries, the elderly, the youth and children by bringing Jesus to them. We realise that this is the right choice because the doors to our houses have been closed due to Covid-19, and thus, now we are trying to reopen the door post Covid-19, however, it seems that opening the door on its own has yet to encourage people to come and enter to the house if we do not start to go out first to invite them.

By combining the theme of the 56th World Communication Day, “Listening with the ear of the hHeart” and the theme of Claretian Vocation Day “A fire that lghts the heart”, together with the youth, we would go out to reach out and focus our attention to listen with the heart burning with love. We are building communication by asking two basic questions to the Claretian missionaries, youth, and the elderly, which are, First, why the missionary priests are willing to listen faithfully to the penitents who come to confess their sins? Second, what does the Claretian missionaries learn from our Lady regarding listening? To these elderlies we are going to ask them to tell their personal faith experiences and ask for their advice to the youth in regard to life within the church. Some of these activities will be documented and published in Youtube “Claret Tanur”, which is the official YouTube channel for Independent Delegation Indonesia-Timor Leste.

 

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Online Activity/Internalized Activity

It is not sufficient just to have offline activity in every Claretian parish in every region and island, and thus, we are encouraging the youth to ensure that these events are internalized continuously by reciting the Rosary together at the beginning of their activity and then continued by sharing their experiences of “reaching out” online. By this activity, the youth would realise that the ‘reach out’ activity has inspired them and has left deep impression for them.

First, they can build communication with the Claretian missionaries, understands reasons for us to serve and listen confessions faithfully, as well as other experiences where the missionaries develop habit to listen wholeheartedly by imitating Our Lady’s virtues.

Secondly, the youth would come to a realisation where listening to others can be healing.

Thirdly, they can learn to discern, because listening without discerning is like injecting a poison to us, especially when the words are negatively expressed. Biologically, the heart functions as filter for any toxic entering the body, however spiritually, the heart can help someone to filter harm of evil words.

Fourth, they learn that out there, there are people who needs listening ear especially the elderly who do not have the chance to express themselves, and no friends who are willing to lend an ear to them and ended up falling into loneliness. Thus, the youth’s presence around the elderly shall transmit positive energy to them and shall give a positive impact towards them where they will start to feel worthy and is cared for by the church.

Listening is Healing

Jesus heals and saves us when we open our hearts to listen to His words and practice it. By listening to Jesus, we become His disciples. And thus, our calling is to save and to heal. There are people in this world who is suffering sickness due to loneliness, being alone, being ignored and lack of joyful greetings from their friends. There are people who comes to confession in search of healing, but plenty needs to be met in person. At times, our calling requires us to bring Jesus out to be met in person, to channel communication by offering the Joy of Jesus to them the way our Lady brings Jesus to meet Elizabeth. Together with the youth, we are committed to enhance the ability to learn to discern with the heart burning with fire of love to heal ourselves and others who is in need listening ear. Our calling is a grace that the Lord grants the world to heal our brothers and sisters who are sick due to sins, shunned within the society and is ignored. Viva Claretian Vocation Day!

Kupang, Indonesia.

June 17, 2022.

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