Friday 22 January 2016

Salesian Spiritual Exercises

This morning, the idea of translating all the Tables of Contents of the 4 or so volumes of Rossi de Gasperis' Sentieri di Vita. With the aim of getting to know, understand, the dynamic of the volumes, and of the Spiritual Exercises which underlie them.

What is the dynamic of the SE?
and even before that: What is their goal?

With regard to a possible set of Salesian Spiritual Exercises (SSE):
What is our goal? - The goal of 'formation' understood without brackets - which means, in the way the Constitutions understand it, as covering the whole of life, as permanent and ongoing - is "conformation to Christ".
What dynamic to adopt?

We take for granted GRACE - it is given, abundantly, at all times, to all people, by the Father.
we seek to accompany only the RESPONSE to grace.

In our postmodern world (and does this include India?) we need help the awareness (i.e. identification) of grace. We cannot take it for granted that our young people, and our young confreres, know the meaning of grace, are able to identify the presence and working of the love of God in their lives.

For whom the SSE?
for prenovices, novices, postnovices?
for principianti, therefore?

But what about the Salesian who is already sailing on the waters, far from port?
for ME, where I am, where I find myself? (starting point of metaphysics in Insight: people as they are)
(Voegelin: we are always in the middle. Between the A and the Omega, as RdG would say.)

Why is one touched by these exercises (RdG)? Because of the need to take stock, to secure the course.
Because of a vague stirring or a passionate one, the need for love. The "intuition of loss" (Lawrence), the awareness of emptiness. Mid-life crisis. The longing yearning wanting to be filled, to fill, to be fulfilled, to fulfill. "Who is it that loves you, baby" (Lawrence) Or simply: where do you get the love you need? 

1 comment:

  1. What would the SSE use for meditation material? Would we use the Gospels, excerpts from Memoirs of the Oratory, excerpts from the Biographical Memoirs? Would there be different weeks and what themes would be used for the different weeks? Would they be adapted so that they could at least partly be used for morning meditations or would they have to be used in a formal retreat experience?

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