I am delighted to present this new issue of ENSEMBLE/TOGETHER, an important instrument for animating our consecrated life as Blessed Sacrament Religious. (PDF copies in different languages have been transmitted to all the Provincial and Regional Superiors for distribution to all Sacramentino religious and the Eymardian Family. You may also access Ensemble/Together No. 87 June 2020 in the Reserved Area of the website.)
The upheaval to which the world was subjected by the Covid-19 pandemic caused a minimum reaction in each human being and for many, moments of reflection and questioning about the meaning of human existence. Institutions are looking to adapt to the new requirements. The Church has been experiencing specific tensions and challenges. Religious Life is trying, as the servant it should be, ways of helping to find more evangelical paths of hope and solidarity. We too, as religious of the Blessed Sacrament, who “seek to understand all human reality in the light of the Eucharist,” are called to join forces in this construction of paths that will lead us to emerge from this process better.
Many Blessed Sacrament brothers responded to a request that we sent to help us in this process of reflection, basing it on our charism. Following this presentation, look at the letter sent containing the specific motivations.
Some might think that we are late in sending this material. Much has already been produced and published. However, I want to emphasise that this is a specific contribution of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation about thinking and acting in the face of today's challenges. Pope Francis in his message for the 54th World Day of Social Communications, entitled “That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex 10:2) Life becomes history, stated that “the human being is a narrator.” We hope that these narratives of our brothers provoke a continuity of the narratives that we are already carrying out in each context in which we are working. May other texts be prepared, contemplating the different aspects of the Eucharist and of our charism.
We also want to emphasise that this collaboration of so many brothers responds to a need that was highlighted at the 35th General Chapter: the need to deepen our charismatic identity. Through the texts presented here, we can contemplate the differences and riches that make up our Congregation today, not only in its geographical and cultural diversity but also in a theological and spiritual perspective.
Dear brothers, you now have in your hands a very rich instrument that can be of great help in your meetings, communal studies, moments of prayer, community retreats .... We hope that this material is not kept on the shelves of our libraries or in the folders of virtual files to open one day. Let us be creative and develop this material in new reflections, reactions and contributions so that our understanding of reality, from the Eucharist, will deepen and be transformed into a more valuable service for the Church and the people of God.
We express here a special thanks to the great work done by our General Secretariat in producing this Ensemble/Together and in a special way by the translators of the two languages, French and English, of this publication: Ms. Valérie Lemariey and Fr. Michael Parker.
Fr Eugênio BARBOSA MARTINS, sss