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I will take it to my brothers and we will eat it together

 

Thirteen brothers at Davao and one bread

Cmi

02/03/2007: Philippines

These are the words pronounced in 1824 by Brother Jean Pierre Martinol when Father Champagnat offered him some bread to eat before undertaking the return voyage to his community: “… I will take it to my brothers and we will eat it together.”
We are a community of thirteen brothers plus three brothers who are accompanying us and, as those responsible, are preparing us with great concern and affection for our future mission. Will we be capable of taking a bit of “bread” and will we be able to share it together with the brothers of the community, with all those whom we love?

“THE LONG PATHWAYS DEMAND GREAT FIDELITY… AND AS THE PATHWAYS LENGTHEN, THE FIDELITY BECOMES MORE BEAUTIFUL.”

Transitions, changes, moves, cultures, renunciations, means for building a community, spirituality for the mission, Champagnat and his mission, history and culture of the “people of Asia”, cultural diversity… and some other themes that we will explore deeply throughout our voyage, to start to eat our “bread of the house” together, with a good appetite, with a bit of flavour, - all that is done and lived affectionately, asks for more – causes us to repeat and to share. It is in the sharing that we find the meaning of many of our renunciations changed into happiness and into hopes.

Community is sharing. Sharing is loving. To share it is necessary to dialogue and the dialogue must be an authentic human activity.
How it is beautiful to recognise each other each day. To eat together. To accept the bread that each brother brings to the table, with simplicity but with a lot of affection at the same time – the warmth of the home is what counts – and all of that brings us back to our Founder, when he spoke of “family spirit” as a Marist characteristic.

I look ahead to the 15th June charged with ideas, with experiences lived and assumed in a responsible way. Five months lived with shared “ups and downs”, some of them painful, others happy, and only for this: to have accepted to be COMMUNITY, to know how to recognise each other, travelling the same pathway. Each hour and each day that passes, I ask myself timidly: “What will I take to my brothers to eat with them?” This question that I ask myself each day carries the burden of my smallness, but at the same time reflects the grandeur, the vitality and the actuality of community life.

More than a month has passed of doing and being here in community at Davao, with a few clear and concrete objectives known by all. We know each other, we accept each other as different and complementary, we are rich personalities and for that different.

At the end of the day, in our multicultural community, one perceives the calm, one seeks rest; the daily programme lived and personalised with honesty emerges in thanksgiving praise: for the brothers whom you have given me, for the lived experience, for the misunderstood – and certainly accepted -, for the joys of some and the worries of others. For the fresh “bread” of today and sometimes for the stale one of yesterday, but always ours, and for the food of tomorrow. For all that we are and the way in which we are: THANKS LORD.

“I will take it to my brothers…”: how much questioning suggests this sentence to me; it speaks to me of moves, of will, of priorities, of substitutions, of changes, of growing, of assimilation to new cultures including new languages. What will I take to them? Why will I take it to them? To whom will I take it? This is the process in which we find ourselves, the thirteen brothers of this community in Davao. I am truly convinced that our “bread” kneaded and raised each day in the silence of the morning reminds us of the promise to share it which demands from us presence, attitude and mutual acceptance; this is what we must take to the brothers to eat it, to taste it, to savour it, profiting from it together and recognising each other each day eating the “bread” worked by our own hands. “ONE IS ALWAYS BORN IN A PLACE THAT ONE HAS NOT CHOSEN.”

With all my affection. United in Jesus, Mary and Marcellin.
Santos Garcia.

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