On the eve of Pentecost and at the start of this Convention, we asked the Holy Spirit to show where this year’s theme – RECOLLECT ACCOMPANIMENT: Quest for Interiority, Sign of Communion and Bond of Charity, – would lead us.
Today, as we conclude this convention and celebrate Independence Day, what message does the Word of God convey? The Readings speak of how the soul, when filled with the Holy Spirit, rejoices in God the Savior and how the heart proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Who is proclaimed is the Son of God who lived, suffered, died and resurrected for us to be able to live as God’s beloved. He is the same Lord who ascended to heaven and in his name the Father sends to us the Holy Spirit. It is he who said: as the Father sent me, so now I send you.
Is not this a fitting way to end the 12th Formands’ Convention? We are reminded of and summoned to the mission. What is the mission? The Son of God of course! Christ, the son of Mary and fullness of God’s love for his people is the mission. Like the child in the womb of Elizabeth encountered by the Son of God in the womb of Mary is what I prayed for during the convention. In fact, this is what we should have seen and read in the theme.
In the bosom of the Mother Church, in the company of formators and prayed for by Mary and the Saint of the Order, as well as the members and affiliates of the Province, we ought to have realized that the “Quest” we did was in fact a “search for ways” to grow in the love of God and how, in concrete ways, we can bring this love to others. You see, the three talks were but expressions of the same amor that is castus, ordinatus, and diffusivus. This is the same love that unites, accompanies and sustains us…to bring caritas et amor to the people of God. Remember the song: Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est!
The quest, the search, is always personal and communitarian. Discerning the love and will of God, to know how to grow in and spread this love, is evangelical and ecclesial an endeavor. All this gave sense to the scheduling of talks, prayers, games and other formative activities. Before we go home can we ask ourselves: do we truly rejoice, filled with Spirit like Mary and Elizabeth, and are our hearts ready to proclaim the greatness of the Lord? Do we realize how well accompanied we were and how we ought to accompany the young brothers? Or did we lose ourselves in the multiple activities? Look back and recall some highlights.
On Pentecost Day we heard of the state of the Province and witnessed the renewal of vows of the young confreres. What message did we receive? Where we enlightened by the Spirit to share the vision and mission of the Order and the Province, such that we were inspired to renew commitment to belong to and remain in this religious family? How well do we know the OAR spiritually, her vocation and mission? Are we formed to live in communion and work for God and his people starting from the Augustinian Recollect charismatic identity? Pray that the Spirit show the way. Ask Our Lady of Health and St. John of Sahagun to pray for us!