During the morning check-in we were reminded again of the phrase of Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world” and we add “in the community and in the MSOLA.”
This time and the atmosphere of trust created in the chapter-community have allowed us to deal without fear with issues coming from deep levels, dreams, but also important and difficult issues, in an atmosphere of intense listening.
All through this chapter we have gone through a deep experience of transformation. The experience lived here tells us that we can create an environment where truth can emerge, be listened to without judgment and be healed. We have seen that repressed anger is a big issue that does not allow life to circulate, and we need to deal with it, as we all carry wounds, and we all need to be healed. Then we will become the “wounded healer”, courageous, truthful, transparent, accountable… A vulnerable adult, able to expand our tent and pump life-giving energy into ourselves, to those around us and to the world.
We have also learned that when in a discernment process, I present what I see, I give my vision/idea to the group/community. It is a gift I offer to the group, so it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to all who have listened to it, so there is no reason for me to defend my point of view because now it has become “ours”. In the same way, I received the others’ opinion, as their offering and as a gift.
The group welcomes with gratitude all that is happening among us and within us and expresses it in different ways to one another with different gestures.
As Jesus asked the disciples “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” followed by “What about you—Who do you say I am?” Today He is asking us: Who do you say you are, MSOLA? What is your ID? What is unique, distinctive, beautiful without which you cease to be who you are called to be? What makes you what you are that distinguishes you from any other group? What is the difference you are bringing to the world? What are we here and now as a microcosmos of MSOLA?
Attentive to the here and now, we are experiencing new things in the midst of our interculturality, our different generations. We were invited to get in touch with what we sensed till we will recognize: YES, that is us, MSOLA; that is our call.
A tentative answer to these questions was found through an exercise. All the capitulants in community-groups, expressed – on a huge blank sheet of paper where the border of the 5 MSOLA letters were drawn -the uniqueness of the MSOLA. While a community drew in silence filling one letter, the other communities followed them, supported them, accompanied them… while in turn going to fill another letter. At the end all together finished the whole picture of MSOLA, and all went around to contemplate the picture. It became obvious that our charism is needed in today’s world and Church, and that the Spirit keeps calling us to live it in new places and circumstances, with our own reality, and yet inviting us to expand our tent.
All during the chapter we have had the certainty of walking together, of being transformed together, even if differently.
We are experiencing what Pope Francis calls “the most wonderful experience we can have: belonging to a people who walk, who go through history with their Lord walking among us.” (Assisi, 4 October 2013).
In his final word for the day, Fr. Dave said that the vulnerability we often speak about, is an empty space which God can come and fill with “the treasure in earthenware jars” (2Cor), even with cracks, but which continue holding this treasure. This embracing our vulnerability and our fragility is what the vow of poverty is about. Our response to God loving us must be to allow ourselves to be transformed. We will be like the leaven in the dough living our own transformation.