pope francis’ challenge to us claretians

our international claretian leadership gathers every six years to evaluate, discern, and set the course for the next six years. the meetings are called a “general chapter.” our current chapter document that will guide us is titled, “rooted in Christ; audacious in mission” i received my personal copy of it this past week.

the document includes pope francis’ address to us at the close of the general chapter. in it, he tells us:

“You are missionaries; if you want your mission to be truly fruitful, you cannot separate mission from contemplation and a life of intimacy with the Lord”.

a previous chapter had quoted us as “contemplatives in mission.” so the pope just reminds us who we are called to be. each of us must personally know the love of God if we are to share it. a constant prayer life is the means to know this divine love.

at times, the demands of the ministry can seem overwhelming. in a search to do more, we can neglect our time in personal prayer with the Lord. it happens to the majority of us missionaries. when we drift from our primary call to be men of prayer and the gospel, our work is not as effective. better said, when we are truly rooted in Christ– in prayer– only then can we dream of being “audacious” in our work/ministry.

as an idealist, being one with Christ has been a spiritual goal that has brought me back to my primary call: as a human being, a man, a catholic, and a claretian. since our claretian retreat in february, i have revamped my prayer space which has helped revamp my prayer life. being in seattle at my mother’s home these past years has really changed my rhythm of life in all aspects.

because of my change of life, i have been learning about myself and God in different ways. and my prayer life has greatly shifted. i am still trying to figure out how the Spirit is re-shaping me.

one way or the other: personal prayer is an integral part of who i am and who i want to be.

i pray that mary, through her immaculate heart, intercede for me to know this love of God more profoundly and to respond more firmly in faith, love, and service.

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