Sunday 1 June 2014

General Chapter 27: deep calling to deep

The documents of GC27 have gone to the press yesterday, and we each of us in the General Council received a pdf copy. I've just begun reading it this morning - the presentation by the Rector Major - and I must say I am impressed.

He begins by talking about CONVERSION, as something we cannot program, but which is a dialectic between two freedoms, God's and ours. A dialectic between two loves, the love of God which is poured into our hearts, and our loving response to that love. God's love, overwhelming, abundant, and always there; and my love, our love, much more hesitant, not always abundant, not always generous. But deep calls to deep, and this General Chapter is one more moment in God's love for us, calling us, calling me, to God.

I can't help thinking here of the whole dialectic between grace and freedom: the way grace first comes as total gift, but not often the insertion of the heart of flesh, instead, very often, just the desire to follow, the desire to change, the desire to move, sometimes vague, sometimes clearer, but there all the same. Attentiveness to the restless of our hearts: great way of being attentive to the workings of God's love in us. So to me, Salesian, the question: am I restless? Do I find myself restless as I read the documents of GC27? And if my answer is yes, that is grace working in me, that is God working in me, that is God loving me and calling me to respond to love.

That response can take many forms. For me, Salesian, one of the most important forms it takes is to make the decision to READ the documents of GC27, and to actually read them, read, reflecting, assimilate, be open to inspiration, to the invitation to change, big and small; to pray for the willingness to change, and for the change itself. 'Both the will and the work come from God.'

Summary for those who have no time to read: first point in conversion: read!

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