Rome, Italy. On Saturday, July 18, 2020, the Online Spiritual Exercises directed by Fr. Gonzalo Fernández (General Prefect of Spirituality) and by Fr. Carlos Sánchez (CESC Director in Vic), with the technical collaboration of Fr. Louie Guades III, CMF, came to an end. As a conclusion, there was a Zoom videoconference in which 100 people participated, the maximum number allowed. Several shared their experience.
For a week, converting their own home a “house of spirituality,” more than 400 persons belonging to the different branches of the Claretian Family and coming from different European (especially Spain) and Latin American countries (especially Colombia and Mexico) followed a spiritual itinerary based on the five basic relationships that configure us as human beings: with oneself, with others, with the world (understood as nature, society and cyberspace), with time and with the Mystery of God.
Lived “with the Spirit” (the general title of the Spiritual Exercises), these relationships are transformed into relationships of life. The relationship with oneself is not lived in the key of narcissism or subjectivism, but of filiation. Living as children of God is our deepest identity. Other people are not strange beings, competitors nor enemies. Jesus calls us to live as brothers and sisters. The world is not a place to be exploited. Our vocation is to live as caretakers of the “common home”. Time is not just the journey from birth to death; it is a pilgrimage to the Father’s house. Christians are not only called to enjoy, but to live as pilgrims. Finally, our openness to the Mystery of God is an invitation to live as adorers. Each of these themes was approached from an anthropological and spiritual perspective (in the mornings) and from the Claretian perspective (in the afternoons). Each day was closed with a moment of prayer.
The participants were grateful for the lived experience, underlined the importance of having journeyed as a Claretian Family in this year of the 150th anniversary of Claret’s death and suggested to continue cultivating similar initiatives that would strengthen the sense of charismatic family and make our rich spiritual patrimony available to more people – using the possibilities offered by the Internet.