Echo of the Congress on Consecrated Life
Bogota, Colombia, May 1st to 4th 2014, 1000 participants
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us!” Lk 24, 32
What the disciples of Emmaus experienced, that is what we lived during these three days of Congress.
Certain expressions of the speakers particularly impressed us. As Daughters of Jesus, we are invited to take responsibility of our own journey, focusing anew on our ability to love tenderly. (Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of the Gospel). We are following Jesus Christ who died and rose with His wounds now healed.
We would like to share with you some of our impressions:
It’s time to quit our habit of wanting to organize that which is chaotic – a habit which uses up our energies. Let’s rather try to integrate our interior disorders, our daily temptations, and become women capable of giving life for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Let’s keep the deep conviction that we can humanize as Jesus did based on who we are.
Sr María Cristina Otálora Macías:
A task which is never finished:
Let’s go deep in our hearts and ask ourselves: “What have I done with love? Has love survived despite my wounds and sufferings? Am I still capable of being a loving person?
Sr María Irma Sánchez Sierra:
In our own personal development, nothing is more important than that of affection and relationships.
According to the style of our consecrated life, the risk of interpersonal relationships is inherent to community living as it is for all human existence.
Our sexuality is an energy that fosters life-giving in all relationships.
For a long time, the Word of God on sexuality was negatively interpreted. But as such it is a powerful force that goes beyond all knowledge. It can be compared to a seed, that once sowed, grows by itself. (Mc.4, 26-29)
Our sexuality as gift of God is part and parcel of the building of the Kingdom in the search for love in all its dimensions.Sr María Silenia Sosa Ramirez:
Our mission as consecrated persons is to assume our brokenness and despite it to humanize. It’s an invitation to unify and integrate the various aspects of our lives according to God’s plan. “I have come that you may have life, life in all its fullness.” Jn. 10, 10
Consecrated life can more readily allow us to hear the Lord through the cry of the world which invites us to openness and communion.
Nayda Yadira Martínez Suazo. 2nd year novice:
Despite the fact that I am not always present to the Lord, He is working in me and through me.
Nolvia Maryori Ávila Figueroa. 1st year novice:
Whether we are religious or lay people, our affectivity and our sexuality are to be lived in relationships and not according to morality and sin. We must avoid suppressing the vital energies of our humanity.
God speaks to us through the life of His Son (Hb 1, 1-5). May our lives, therefore, be an echo to His Word.
Sr Martha Graciela Rodríguez Martínez:
Only the Lord can fully satisfy our hearts. Real witnessing is only possible once all the aspects of our being are in harmony.
Sr Gelsomina Rodas Baquedano:
During the period of formation, one cannot reject nor ignore the powerful forces of one’s sexuality and affectivity. It’s rather imperative to give a positive and constructive orientation to these vital energies.
Nowadays, what a challenge to accompany young people in their growth toward authentic affectivity and sexuality!Sr Raymonde Tessier:
A spirituality based on the Passion of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom in a progressive integration of our strengths and weaknesses leads surely to liberty and joy.
Sr Viviana Carolina Forero Angulo:
Conflicts in Religious life are not dramatic as such, however we need resources to handle them positively. We must take our part of responsibility with regards to the sexual scandals in our society and realize that to live a celibate life today can be productive, can foster joy and creativity.
Now as in past ages, God is present in our history which is full of possibilities and of new avenues. We are called to personal, community and ecclesial conversion.
This Congress has made me realize that celibacy has been lived in a rather cold and harsh way, full of compensations, seeing scandals everywhere and preoccupied with a favourable image of the Church, protecting the abusers instead of focusing on the victims.
“El drama de la vida religiosa no son los conflictos sino que hemos perdido el lugar desde donde leemos esos conflictos”.
Initial formation is well taken care of, but ongoing formation should be strengthened. True, life itself is formative; it’s there that God speaks to us.
Community living is called to be prophetic in a world struggling with human coexistence marked by selfishness.
Debemos hacernos cargo de nuestra responsabilidad en el asunto de los escándalos sexuales y darnos cuenta que vivir el celibato hoy, es fuente de fecundidad, alegría y creatividad. Darnos cuenta también que este tiempo eclesial es el” tiempo de Dios” (kairos): lleno de posibilidades, de tomas de conciencia, de conversión personal, comunitaria y eclesial.
Province of America Latina – Colombia