The Daughters of Jesus of Latin America came together in March 2019 in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras for their first meeting of the year. They share what they received in the workshop on “Leadership for living this time of Religious Life in a paschal way”. It was led by Brother Álvaro Rodríguez fsc, from the city of Costa Rica.
Restructuring is a Paschal event
Any process of restructuring, far from being a way of dying, is a stimulus to increase and give birth to life. It is a paschal event. Brother Álvaro proposed four evangelical criteria for living this paschal way:
Vitality – unifying our force, putting in common what we have, as did those who followed Jesus. This vitality will give us more life to offer to others and ensure our unity.
Viability – that is assuring the future of our service towards young people and not satisfying their hunger only once.
Leadership – that ensures that people are capable, like Jesus and his disciples, of feeding the crowd.
Solidarity – the putting in common of what we have at the service of all.
This leadership must be strengthened by taking advantage of:
- The possibilities for initial and ongoing formation
- The richness of community life
- A mission and spirituality shared with the laity
- A tenderness and attention to the poorest
- Financial Autonomy
- And above all, a strong spirit of interdependence and solidarity.
The Gospel of Mark 6, 34-44 “the multiplication of the loaves and fishes” is a reference for the current processes of restructuring and revitalization of religious life. Inasmuch as we put in common our gifts and our deficiencies, in a double attitude of feeling rich in order to give and poor in order to receive. In any restructuring process the question is: « What can we give and what can we receive? » All of this is in order to live fully the mission entrusted by Jesus, to bring the Good News to the poor and through the poor.
Better structures give dynamism to mission
The Jesuit Jose Cela writes:
« We need to keep an ear close to the bud that is about to emerge in all its greenness, to the chrysalis that is beginning to break free as a butterfly. We need the regard of a giraffe. The giraffe, with its long neck, can look up and open itself to the horizon, but in order to pump blood to such a high head, it needs a big heart. »
Our regard must be like that, encompassing the broad horizons of our wide world. It must be long-range and strategic. At the same time, it needs to be connected to a heart big enough to include everyone and where there is room for unlimited generosity.
We need a regard that does not exhaust itself, neither in our small world of personal fears and needs nor in our work, our environment, our culture, our country, our Congregation. We need to be open to the world and to the Church. We need to be capable of unleashing as our own the anguish and hopes of our world, especially those of the poor of this earth, with a heart eager to understand, ready to welcome and love all. We must not erect walls or frontiers that prevent entry. We need a regard that does not scrutinize in order to judge but to save.
Renewing our “Yes” to the Lord
Brother Álvaro invited us not to remain at the level of our daily concerns, but to take advantage of this important moment in our history in order to build together a new structure of government based on a common vision. We have in our hands, and above all in our hearts, a marvelous opportunity. We hope that we will know how to take advantage of it.
Finally, he invited us to live this stage with open eyes and a burning heart, to renew our « Yes », with imagination, creativity, realism, and hope. He told us to:
- Release our energy
- Put in place new initiatives
- Create structures that are at the service of life
- Renew our community life
- Increase our evangelical radicalism
- Purify our consecration to the Trinity.
Restructuring is not a time to look at one another,
but to look together in the same direction
towards a world in need of salvation.
Daughters of Jesus Community, Choluteca