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27/10/2015: Thailand

 

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Time flies! It is now the final quarter of 2015. Soon, it will be the end of the year of Montagne and the year of Consecrated Life, the beginning of the year of Fourviere, and in between countless meetings and workshops. Sometimes, I find myself caught in a powerful stream of events that threatens to throw me off track. So many needs, so many challenges!

At the district level, the Formation houses have consolidated, the first group of local Brothers are studying at MAPAC, nine years of MoUs have come to an end, the workshop for vocation promoters and community leaders have concluded, the meeting of the Lay Marists and Brothers is just around the corner…

For the past few months, I have been going from one country to another, from one meeting to another. New experiences yes, but I wonder how much I have been reflecting in the experience itself, since it is not the experience that make us wiser or sensitive to needs but rather the reflection of the experience.

Recently, I attended the Perpetual Profession of Br Malangmei who is a member of our District. I can still recall the celebration vividly – the beauty of the place, the songs of the students, the offerings of the families, the Bishop, the relatives of Br Malangmei and the perspiring faces of the other Brothers.

The preparation for the ceremony had definitely drawn the community closer.

A few days after that, I visited the International Novitiate in Tudella, Sri Lanka. Six first year novices, five second year novices and Brothers from nine countries – Brazil, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Solomon Island, Vanuatu, China and Mexico. What a great example of internationality and interculturality. They are learning to live together, to discover the richness of being different and to accept and learn from diversity. I was amazed at the physical transformation that is taking place, it has become their home and they have spent many hours beautifying it.

Reflecting on these visits, I asked myself, “What kind of future are we building now?” I got the answer the following day when I dropped by at the office of a local Bishop. In the silence of the waiting room, I read the words of Madeleine Delbrêl, “To be a good dancer, we do not need to know where the dance will lead. We need simply to be an extension of You, agile and alive, feeling through ourselves the rhythm of the orchestra…”

Lord, help us allow ourselves to be led by You like Mary. That we may obey, unhesitatingly your word, knowing that we are just workers not master builders. Amen.

Fraternally, Juan Castro.

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