«Scientists say we are made of atoms,
but a little bird tells me we are made of stories»
ur General Chapter XVII comes to a close. Working through the Chapter with the theme “Led by the Spirit, let us reorganize our Life as CFMSS in the synodal way” was a great opportunity as a religious family to ask ourselves what place the Spirit of the Lord is calling us to occupy today and to discern evangelically what and how He wants us to go about. For this it was necessary to take charge of our life and mission and, in the light of much prayer, reflection, sharing and conversation, review our internal and external structures, at personal, community and Institute levels. And so it has been … in “communion of spirit,” having “the same sentiments,” which, according to St. Paul’s recommendation, means not just “agreeing with,” but “feeling and thinking in Christ” (cf. Phil. 2:1-5), sharing concerns and hopes, making decisions in common… So more than 30 days have passed, with a diversity of cultures and languages, but understanding each other through the language of sisterly love.
Yes. One mission ends and another begins! “The old things have passed away. Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:4-5). This perspective confronts us with the need to resume the creative dynamism of our charism: the uninterrupted presence of God’s grace permeating human mediations (cf. 2 Tim 1:1-6), strengthening the essential elements that constitute the foundations of our Religious Life: prayer, fraternity, evangelizing mission, caring for life, especially for the most vulnerable, because “in a society of confrontation, of difficult coexistence between different cultures, tendency to overpower the weakest and inequalities, we are called to offer a concrete model of community which, through the recognition of the dignity of each person and the sharing of the gift of which each one is the bearer, allows us to live fraternal relationships” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter in the Year of Consecrated Life, I. 2 ).
We have understood quite well that openness to the new, to times and places, fosters the emergence of new forms of configurations. For this reason, we have evaluated our patrimony, codified and preserved in our Documents (CCGG, Action Plan, Ratio Formationis), to plan anew with novel attitudes the salvation that God is bringing about through us in today’s history. The seed that was sown by our founders must bear fruit in the world in every age; being faithful to the message they left us means extending the inspiration that moved them in the light of the signs: “No one sews a new cloth on an old robe or puts new wine in old wineskins. New wine in new wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22).
We are certain that this historical moment that our Institute is living will be gracefully fruitful in the different communities where we are and, consequently, in the heart of our mission. It is no accident that Pope Francis reminds us, “You will find life by giving life, hope by giving hope, and love by loving” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter in the Year of Consecrated Life, II.4).