9th of May
After a global perspective of the OD. congregation´s reality, the stage of SEEING, we move on to the stage of ILLUMINATION. A day for us to breathe in, let go and open the ear and heart to the Word of God. At this very time, we were accompanied by Fray Jesus Diaz Sariego, OP (President of CONFER).
He started by saying that these days of discernment and making decisions demonstrate that indeed, we are women of valor, journeying. When we make decisions, we open up to a future that, perhaps these are decisions which are not perfect at all, but we have the certainty that God is re-routing or re-directing our imperfections.
With the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (1:4-9) and Hosea (2,22-24) he invited us to look back on our first love, rekindle that experience of God which confirms God´s care as Father-Mother who trusts in us.
Fray Jesus has focused his reflections on “care”:
- Care at the personal level: our vocation, care for oneself, not on the narcissistic sense but, minding that each one of us is vulnerable, take root our preoccupations in God and His project.
- Care for the community: what the Congregation needs are not programs to be constructed, but dreams to be chased. Dreams do generate life. To be born again. To be ever sincere, listening, to cultivate our prayerful and friendly dimensions.
- Care for the Congregation: It is in the General Chapter that we evaluate if we are progressing or not all. But, most of all, we consider the processes by which drives us to our inner core. Care on the way we relate from the point of view of power, the norms of communal living, that practice of justice, and most of all, to cultivate relationships of gratuitousness.
- Care for the mission: Mission needs a constant tension/equilibrium between the newness of prophecy and the residues where wisdom resides. We assume changes as they come due to our fidelity, not because of necessity.
Also, he stressed on the close relationship between life and mission which exist in the Dominican life, for both can influence and enrich. When mission is lived, life is enlivened and vice versa. However, we must be watchful so as not to get contaminated by the individualism which makes us separate life and mission, seeking outside what we cannot fulfill caring within the community.
We were warned to be watchful of spiritual sloth, of the unhappiness and spiritual weariness. To be conscientious that the success of consecrated life is in humility and our own conversion and not the professional or pastoral achievements. The mission, the functions we exercise, must bring us to become better persons, better believers, if not, something must have gone wrong along the way.
St. Thomas Aquinas understood “care” as “epimeleia”, the care that is not borne from our human initiative, but from the necessity in caring for the other, as it was in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The caring side in us links us to the weak (a person, a group, of the congregation). Also, he cited Erich Fromm as one who linked “caring” to evangelical love, “love is the active preoccupation and the growth of what we love”.