2024-04-23 BRAZIL

Message from the participants in the Spirituality of the Heart program

From January 31 to February 22, 51 participants have been in FlorianĂłpolis, Brazil Centro-Sul, in the Spirituality of the Heart program, organized by the Institute’s permanent formation team. To conclude, the participants, wanted to share with the entire Institute the message that we reproduce below.

At the end of the experience lived in Florianópolis during the Spirituality of the Heart program, the 51 lay people and brothers from different provinces of the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking Institute, heartily welcome the question: “What dream does God have for the Marist charism in our days and in the future? And what role are we called to play in that dream?” (Cf. Homes of Light) to let some intuitions emerge from our grateful hearts that guide our lives and orient us to continue growing in our vocation and spirituality:

We, lay people and brothers, Marists of Champagnat:

  • We know ourselves to be seekers of God, which inspires us to live a culture of care – for ourselves, for others and for our common home.
  • We desire to live connected and aware of the constant presence of God in our lives and in our history.
  • We feel called to cultivate an embodied and inspiring spirituality of the heart, which is salt and light where we are.
  • We want to be like a torch of God that burns from availability and inner search, fueled by silence and listening, that illuminates our vocation to be present among children and young people.
  • We have the desire to be multiplying instruments, caring for interiority, and promoting experiences of search and encounter with God.
  • We wish to continue experiencing and giving personal and community testimony of the love, compassion, and tenderness of God through our hearts as disciples of Jesus.
  • We believe that today it is necessary to build bridges and establish meaningful connections between our lives and what the world needs, between what we experience deep within our being and the people close to us, in each community and in the common home.
  • We dream of transforming the experience of love with God into a heart-to-heart dialogue with our brothers and sisters.

And because we want our lives to be centered on following Jesus, we passionately live the Gospel to be:

  • Close face of God’s mercy expressed in closeness, accompaniment, and commitment, especially with the most needy and vulnerable who are on the margins of life.
  • Marists with an open heart and passionate about the charism that we have inherited.
  • Committed to the dedication of our being in favor of the construction of the Kingdom of God from the small details and in the style of Champagnat.
  • Developing an attitude of compassion and joy, following in the footsteps of Mary and Marcellin.
  • Privileging formation and education in interiority through experience and recognition of the presence of God that inhabits us and transcends us.
  • Promoting experiences and initiatives for the good of others, being happy, and making happy those we meet along our path.
  • Living an attitude of attentive listening like Mary, our Good Mother, who accompanies us in following Jesus, and calls us to care, with a heart full of affection and respect, for impoverished and vulnerable children and young people.

Therefore, we will continue to seek the necessary means to cultivate a spirituality of the heart, centered on Christ, that fills us with joy and makes us inclusive and helps us connect with our Marist origins.

FlorianĂłpolis, February 22, 2024


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