Prior general: “The Spirit is generating communion in the diversity of people, cultures and ministries”
The celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost invites us to open our hearts to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. During the Easter season experiences of encounter with Jesus abound. He comes to us, in our real and concrete situation. If we allow him, he fills the heart with joy and hope. He becomes present in the fraternal life of our communities and in the life and mission of the Order and of the Church.
The same risen Christ is the one who makes us see the wounds of his body in those who suffer, in the poor and in those who are victims of selfishness and injustice. Conscious of our poverty and fragility, we ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of Christ who lives in us and who enlightens us to hear the Word and to discern the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit is the one who drives us to communion and mission.
Meeting for coordination and promotion of the revitalization
In order to promote communion in the Order, the prior general and his Council met with the priors provincial from April 1 to 5 of this year. In this meeting we were able to discern the continuing action of the Spirit in the process of revitalization of the Order and of each of the provinces.
Although the provinces are not going at the same pace, we have found that the Spirit is generating communion in the diversity of people, cultures and ministries. Keeping in tune with the Church and our charismatic identity, we continue advancing on the path of conversion, and we press on reorganizing ourselves so that our communities may become more evangelizing.
As we have said so many times, revitalization does not end with the union of the provinces ... Communion requires availability, coherence and audacity to advance in the process of personal, community, pastoral and ecological conversion. How can we promote fraternal life, have a common project, foster dialogue and listen and be willing to work as a team?
To advance in the revitalization of the Order we must harmonize the differences in a common project; to worry about the times, rather than the spaces -to use the distinction that Pope Francis offers us-:
It is not a question of being stunned by anxiety, but of having clear convictions and tenacity to follow the processes begun.
Approaching the themes of the meeting from the perspective of the priors provincial has helped us to channel and consolidate the processes proposed by the General Chapter, expressed in the Life and Mission Project of the Order and in those of the provinces.
In an atmosphere of listening and dialogue, we sought to discern the will of the Lord and what the Church asks of us, the tensions that arise in the process were addressed and communion was sought as the path to walk through together.
The methodology followed contributed to making the sessions agile, participatory and profitable. It was based on the data and contributions of the priors provincial and their councils, previously collected, and then there was discussion and then conclusions. I consider it appropriate to highlight the following sections:
- Process of union and integration of the provinces.
- Review of the Life and Mission Project of the Order and of each province.
- Working as a team, improving personal communication, human relations, listening and openness to dialogue.
- Plans of the Secretariats and Commissions of the Order.
- Augustinian Recollect International Solidary Network, ARCORES.
- Protection of minors and the vulnerable people, and promotion of the culture of caring.
- Communities dependent on the Prior General: General Curia and San Ildefonso College in Rome; San Ezequiel Moreno in Madrid; Antilla in Cuba.
The fire of the Spirit
In these times of social changes, ecclesial reforms and the revitalization of the consecrated life, we - like the first recollects - can not resist the action of the Holy Spirit either.
At the bottom of our heart we feel the restlessness and the desire to love and serve. Vitality comes to us from the root, from the charism, from the fire of the Spirit. We need to have faith and open our hearts to a new Pentecost so that the Spirit of Christ may fill the entire Order with life and hope.
United to Mary, as the Apostles were, let us ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1,13-14). At Pentecost, the fire of the Spirit removed fear, increased faith in the Risen Christ and united everyone in the love of the Father. As Pope Francis said in his homily, June 4, 2017:
This is the communion we hope for in the Order, in the provinces and in our communities.
Christ the Lord wants to infuse us with his Spirit to forgive our sins, so that we may experience his peace and so that we may proclaim the Gospel with joy. The Spirit lights the heart in love and revives in each one of us the call to holiness. Newly, Pope Francis in his homily, May 20, 2018:
I invite you to walk together and to remember once more the words that Pope Francis addressed to the Augustinian Recollects in October 20, 2016:
It is not the worldly spirit and the eagerness for power that moves hearts, but the Spirit of God. The Spirit teaches us to listen and to discern, He encourages us to dream with the young people and to listen to the elderly. This process is the path of missionary synodality that creates communion and involves the entire People of God.
May the Lord infuse us with his Spirit to become creators of communion in our communities, in the province, in the Order and in the whole Church.