CLC/CVX 16th World Assembly - Day 8: Feast of the Transfiguration.
Theme: Touching new frontiers and enthusiastically renew our response to God's call
Reflections from English Canada
In Elaine Nightingale's reflection this morning, she likened our journey thus far to cycling up a mountain, and encouraging us that we are now close to the top. Leanne is feeling like she did the first time she ran a marathon- at around kilometre 30 of 42 and just focusing on getting to that next water station! There has been much to absorb and process, and many late nights filled with after-hour socials, meetings and sending reflections back home. That said, there has been so much richness in the process.
Fr. Pedro Walpole S.J. of South East Asia addressed the Assembly on the third Assembly priority, Ecology. His work has recently been in land management around issues of landslides. The central theme shared was of reconciliation : with creation, neighbour and God.
Fr. Pedro spoke of starting with a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of all life. He said sustainability is an exercise of the heart, going deeper than the facts and calling forth a genuine change in attitude, redirecting the carbon and poverty footprints of our generation. It is time for us to reconcile with Creation....to embrace poverty and beauty together through families where we speak what it is to be alive. Quoted from the handout are possible guidelines for "ecological conversion":
"Our Environmental Way of Proceeding
1. We acknowledge the Creator of Life and find some quiet time each day to appreciate this with gratitude.
2. We as a family seek to reflect and speak about what we experience and discern our relationship with our responsibility for the earth's natural systems.
3. We recognize that young people we see today inherit this living world as we now choose to sustain it by finding God at work in all things and actively seek to engage them.
4. We reach out in hope in poor who are increasingly loving their livelihoods and ecological sustainability and incorporate their concerns in our care for the web of life.
5. We support good actions in contemporary culture and explore needed alternatives with decision, partnering with others in order to broaden our capacity to transform environmental attitudes and relations.
6. We seek the greater good of finding how people can work with the gifts of creation; we love life as a mission, to heal and share with others the fullness of life.
7. We accept the challenge of living sustainably in the world.
The converted heart will seek expression through: our institution and lifestyles, formation of young people and pastoral programs and governance of natural and mineral resources. The spiritual and social invitation above will move the ecology strategy and relationship with water, land, life and people.
We are encouraged to "clean up our act first", that is, to change within, continue to learn and be prepared to advocate. "You can only see into the future with faith, hearts of hope and hands of commitment." Fr. Pedro, we are ready to commit with the hearts and energy of a 25 year old, just like you asked!
We went to our small groups which each produced two sentences on what touched us. An example of the fruit of one group:
We in CLC desire to make a heartfelt shift to live simply and authentically voice the reconciliation of all creation.
With wisdom and gratitude and personal witness, we stand with the marginalized poor through formation, and advocacy for a fair economic system.
It was refreshing to have the writing team address the Assembly and clarify that it is the Assembly that will make recommendations for the team. To this point, the team has not been writing yet; rather they have been attentive to the movements of frustration, passion and resistance within the body. We responded to two questions: What tone/tempo/flavour do we want expressed in the text? What must be in the text? On the first point, some responses included: gratitude, the colour of hope, at the heart, witness, horizon of prophesy, accessible, freshness. As for important text in the Final Document: compassion with Christ, simple way of living, sanctification of everyday life, "we have to love what we do", wisdom, reconciliation with creation, love and openness, awareness, united in diversity, universal, the Ignatian tools, global superficiality....It was a wonderful experience to be part of the process.
Daniela and Chris unfolded with us an initial framework to express our Apostolic Body: who we are and what we do as an Apostolic Body. We determined together several additions and broke into groups for additional sharing. From these thoughtful conversations among diverse members there will be eventual identification of priorities.
P.S.: Hurray Australia for introducing the book The First Spiritual Exercises, by Michael Hansen, which is based on the 18th Annotation and is available for purchase.