From September 14 to 16, the meeting of the young Redemptorists of our province took place at the Perpetuo Socorro in Madrid. A total of 16 people gathered in the space known as “the School”, where they were able to maintain and take care of all the precautions and health security measures that the present times demand.
Among the participants, apart from the young people already professed, were the two new postulants, who also attended the meeting, as well as the Fr Provincial, who accompanied the meeting at all times.
These days of encounter were centred in the framework of a formation, carried out by the Claretian Luis Alberto Gonzalo. The theme chosen to structure the different sessions was “the community,” through which, in a good atmosphere of dialogue and listening, which made it possible to share with freedom and respect one’s own points of view, the community models of our provincial reality were analyzed, as well as glimpsing the possible lines that could be followed when trying to seek a better quality of fraternal life in our communities.
First of all, following the presentation of several phrases about what we think community is, we were able to start to grasp intuitions such as the fact that the reality of our communities is as complex as the very lives of those who are part of it, and that the gift of community is based on the acceptance of the plurality that forms it. Community life is an ideal to which we must all aspire, but we must be aware that the ideal community does not exist. We live in communities with very diverse styles and realities, and we must seek and discern the ways that best suit the achievement of that ideal. This means breaking down the entrenched conception that “there are community styles that cannot be changed”. Yes, it can, but it requires each of us to seek the gifts that each of us can contribute so that the community can be a space of growth and welcome for all its members.
To new times, new communities. We all agree that inter-generationality should not be a problem that hinders fraternal life. The youth-elderly binomial, each with his own ideas about how to live community, is not what holds back community growth. Each one must be responsible for creating a good climate in the community in which we live at this time; we must personally discern and reflect on what I must let go of so that something good and new can come; that is, what attitudes and behaviors in one’s life slow down that growth and what I can change in myself so that there is a community before which one can be amazed and exclaim: “look at how they love each other.
Precisely, affection and love must reign in our communities, learning to look at each other, to listen to each other and to care for each other. To leave behind merely formal relationships and to feel the God who unites us and gathers us by living in the confrere, making possible the encounter and encouraging the times shared and giving that time the “sacred quality” it deserves: living together, celebrating together, relaxing together, sharing among us the triumphs and failures, emotion, passion? creating a climate in which to express oneself freely, knowing that the confrere is not there to hurt me, but to heal me. The community must be a space of mercy and forgiveness: learning to forgive and to ask for forgiveness are keys to community growth, looking at the brother as Jesus looked at the adulteress and little by little releasing the stones from our hands.
We must seek. Together. To go out from where we are, from our comforts, and to think in a different way to experience the novelty of the relationship through listening, so as to discover the shared emotion of living together the same charism. Therefore, the community must be a space of mission, a current response to the mandate of the Kingdom and, in this way, slowly conquer a common space to turn our communities into prophetic places of humanity for the world, reflecting that which points to the Kingdom: fraternity, acceptance, solidarity, justice, plurality, peace.
As community individuals, we must be leaders of change, have clear objectives, seek the source and spirituality to simplify our lives and focus on what is important, with the desire to be willing to pay the cost of loving without measure, recognizing the errors, congratulating the successes, working on behalf of one another, in a common space (physical and spiritual) where reconciliation is possible, seeing in the confrere a world, surely very different from my own, that I must also care for as a common home.
These days of formation left us a very good taste, not only because of the intuitions and the shared dialogue, but also because of the fraternal meeting among the confreres. The joy, the welcome and the moments shared gave us strength, enthusiasm and motivation to live with hope an uncertain but beautiful time, if we live it from the authentic and sincere community.
Carlos A. Diego Gutiérrez.