di Daniela Baggi
In view of the next Provincial Chapter of “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament” Province, to be celebrated at Malmantile from February 19th to March 2nd 2018, the Blessed Sacrament religious have wanted to listen to the accounts of the stories of the Church and the laity with whom they form the Eymardian family.
Around 40 lay people, representing all of those who, united in the Eucharist, are journeying together with the Blessed Sacrament religious in their work of evangelization, catechesis, human promotion, were invited to “offer a hand” with the objectives that pertain to a Provincial Chapter: to verify the journey undertaken, to discern God’s will in our “today” and to make sound and concrete decisions for the following years.
I have the honour of being part of this group that with curiosity, amazement, sincere availability, in an atmosphere of joyous fraternity, met at Malmantile, from the afternoon of Saturday January the 13th until lunchtime of Sunday January the 14th, to understand in a better way what is a Chapter, the complexity of our Province and the intense work done by a Provincial Council. It was a preparatory encounter for the occasion of listening, sharing and exchange that we will live from the afternoon of Saturday the 24th to Sunday the 25th February.
“We need you! We need to share with you faith in Jesus, hope in his promises and the Love that abides in us and moves us to make him known and loved by the people who live around us, our families, our Blessed Sacrament communities, our parishes… the area in which we live… we want to listen to your experience, your desires, because we need your competence and your capacities to look together towards the future”. This is the impressive request that the religious made to us in their letter of invitation, repeated during the weekend in January at Malmantile
To assist the Capitular Fathers to elaborate a Life Project for the next four years, to be realized also with the help of the laity, we were asked to divide into groups and prepare a reflection/witness about the meaning and importance of the Eucharist (celebrated, prayed, lived) according to the following topics:
- Personal life of faith;
- Family Life;
- The life in parishes/sanctuaries (groups or associations included);
- Poverty in the different ways in which it presents itself (lack of work – economical crisis- value crisis – migration);
- The youth: their future – vocation – vocations;
- Collaboration and sharing of life with the nearby Blessed Sacrament Community.
At the meeting in February, we have to be more precise about what we ask the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament regarding these topics. We will also discuss the possibility and desirability of setting up a “kind of movement” of Blessed Sacrament laity, to share a spirituality (life of faith) centered on the “breaking of the bread” (Eucharist).
Fr Domenico Avogadro and Fr Maurizio Zorzi asked us to speak with serenity and in truth, endeavouring to go beyond the actual problems of our specific realities, and having an outlook that will be open to the whole Blessed Sacrament family, in order to help in shaping a “re-start” project, which would be entrusted to the Capitular Fathers regarding the times and ways of giving answers and solutions to the problems of the individual communities. “We will listen with joy and gratefulness, we will treasure what you offer us. We are sure that, together with you, the future will be more motivating and fruitful.”
Thank you, Blessed Sacrament Fathers, for this great trust you have put in us. Thank you for this important moment of sharing and fraternity, made possible by the deep passion that we all have for the Eucharist, where we recognize God’s love giving meaning and always new horizons to our lives.
To conclude I will like to cite the words of Saint Peter Julian, the great lover of the Eucharist:
“as long as we fail to have a passion of love for the Eucharist, we will have done nothing (…) develop a passion for the Eucharist, Love like a man who loves a woman passionately (…). The one who is loved must love (…) love is an exaggeration. To exaggerate is to go beyond the law. Well, love must exaggerate!. We don’t think of it, but we really love only when there is passion! (Saint Peter-Julian Eymard, October the 31st 1867, PR 124,1).