Nemi, Italy. August 16, 2021. Wise men repeat it everywhere: all the important things in life require time, lucidity, and depth. The time that brings calm, the lucidity that opens the door to clarity, the depth that leads us to love. After the inaugural journey, the experience of this 26th General Chapter has entered the Time of the Spirit, the Light of the Lord, the Mercy of the Father. They are the ones who will open the way for us during three days of spiritual retreat, animated by the two Chapter facilitators, Sr. Jolanta Kafka, rmi and Fr. Paulson Velyannoor, cmf.
Taking as an evocative image that of the Holy Rosary, this morning we went together through the joyful mysteries that our Claretian life and mission have brought us, communicating in small groups the vocational joys that, in his goodness, the Lord has showered upon us. The joy received undeservedly and humbly widens the heart: it fills it with gratitude and impels it to adoration. Joseph Mbungu-Mutu, cmf, who invited us to return to the vocational roots of our history, the perennial source of joy and salvation. The sharing of the afternoon, in the key of painful mysteries, led us to walk two by two, like the missionary disciples sent by Jesus who announce the Good News also through their wounds and sufferings, with the conviction that “Providence will never take us to any place where we cannot be sustained by His grace,” in the words of Fr. Paulson. All this, gathered and raised to heaven at sunset through a sober and heartfelt penitential celebration, in which we confessed our sins as a congregation before the purifying fire and bent our knees before Jesus-Eucharist, the living bread from which communion is born, the new wine that is given for our reconciliation.
It has been a dense day. And joyful. And restorative. The Lord has been great with us, as He always was with Claret, as He is with all those who approach Him with a sincere heart. In the night of Nemi, when each one withdraws to His solitude, we hear a prayer whispered: Here we are, Lord, to do your will.