One of the things that most caught my attention when I arrived at the Better World Service for Animation was “The Reading of the Signs of the Times”. Those were the first years of my priesthood, my mind still full with “theologies”; it was a true novelty to feel myself included in a group to read reality from a critical consciousness. I still remember the dynamics: gather facts and happenings, organize them in groups of events, carry out a prophetic discernment in light of the Word of God, and finally make a commitment.
Advent literally means “coming”or “arrival”, and it refers to God. However there are various ways to express the “coming of the Lord”: His coming at the end of time “to judge living and dead” as we pray in the Creed; His coming into the world, in the weakness of flesh, born in Bethlehem…
Theologically and pastorally we need to complement and update historically the time that reveals the double coming of the Lord, such as the Church Fathers have done. He who came 2017 years ago in humility and poverty and who will arrive gloriously at the end of history is who arrives everyday to our personal, social and ecclesial life. Origen asks: Does it matter whether Jesus was born in Bethlehem if he is not born today in your heart? Luke citing Isaiah 40, marks John the Baptist’s mission and invites us to prepare the way of the Lord, “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.” Jesus also comes today in a perplexing manner, he does it in the poor, in the immigrants dying in the Mediterranean sea, in the children that are victims of war in Syria, in women that are made slaves and are maimed, raped and killed, in families that have no homes because they cannot pay their mortgages, in the disaster of the climate change.
Dead men walk scattered among living men.
(José Carlos Becerra)
It’s a city that cries. It’s [Wednesday] September 20, 2017, and it’s six o’clock in the afternoon when the rain begins; It’s a day after the earthquake. And yes, it’s Mexico City that cries.
Surprisingly, it was almost exactly 32 years ago [with only six hours difference] that the same tragedy repeats again. There is nothing so spiritual as to dive deep into those unanswered questions that allows us to encounter with the profoundly humane aspect within ourselves. Every Mexican heart opens up and is available to react and respond to such misfortune in their own being– the human and the spiritual. Continue reading A city that cries … and rescues itself.
Mexico, august 9th, 2017. Begining in the last week of june and throughout the month of july, the mexican group experienced the third itinerary of the excercises called “Hacia un mundo mejor/ Towards a better world”, the itinerary of excercises called “Vivir desde dentro/ Live from within”, as well as the workshops: “Metodología prospectiva/ Prospective methodology” and “Equipos de Servicio/ Service Teams”.
Coexistence of the Spanish Group in the Spiritual Center of Nuestra Señora de la Estrella, La Rioja, Spain (August 3th -9th, 2017).
Monasterio La Estrella. San Asensiom, La riojaFor five years ago the spanish group has been experiencing the itineraries with persons that are not part of the group but that feel or have an interests to participate of this renewal experience. In year 2017 we have been focus in the perspective “… Towards a Better World”.
Excepcionalmente este año, nuestra convivencia de este verano ha estado dedicada totalmente al segundo Itinerario de los ejercicios: SEGUIR AJESÚS.
Hemos sido 12 personas: Verónica, Jean-Marie, Françoise, Pascual, Pascual, Pierre, Coletón, Roger, Fina, Marie-Renilde y Luc, nuestro ‘proponente’. Todos hemos quedado muy felices y satisfechos de vivir esta experiencia. Tuvo lugar en la abadía de Brialmont, próximo a la ciudad de Lieja, donde vive una comunidad de religiosas benedictinas, lugar muy agradable, propicio para la tranquilidad y el intercambio.
En este segundo Itinerario, percibimos como una llamada a crecer y a tomar una decisión: “Yo me dispongo a seguir a Jesús, Yo decido continuar sus pasos”.
A person in the first phase of the fourth stage of life realizes that events are not as fortuitous as they seem at first glance. This is what has happened to me when wanting to share some highlights of the experiences of the Itineraries which we have adapted from the original Exercises and which, in these past years, I have accompanied in various groups.
How did this adventure of updating the Exercises come about?
If I remember correctly there were certain anniversaries and other significant events that ignited within me the need for this updating.
To the Promoting Group, at the end of the meeting
of the General Direction
Dear brothers and sisters,
This meeting of the General Direction in Madrid fills us with satisfaction when realizing that in fact we grow every year in the ability to dialogue, to delve into the spirituality that makes us more human, and in the discovery of an increasingly liberating knowledge of Jesus. We really felt accompanied by the whole Group. We received fraternal messages from America, Latin and Northern Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa. We were accompanied during these days by Maite and María del Mar, from the Spanish Group; Silvano and Ilaria visited us from Italy, and so did José and Luisa from Puerto Rico. Continue reading At the end of the meeting of the General Direction (June 2017)
Rome, July 29th, 2017. At the end of July, the Italian Group gathered for its three-day summer Convivenza at Monte Altissimo headquarters. The main objective of the encounter was to continue the experience of the renewed Exercises, focusing this time around the third and fourth step of the Second Itinerary: “Jesus… a journey”, with the help and animation of Father Ignacio González.