Wednesday 16 November 2016

Goodnight to CRF Europa, Skofja Loka - Slovenia, 3-7 November 2016

Three words + one.

1. Communication. The principle of all advertisement is repetition and branding. The more we speak about something, the more likely it is to be bought. So: let us not despair about "merely talking." It helps to talk. I remember Josef Ratzinger saying that after the Council, many topics had died "the death of silent neglect." There is a place for words, theory, talk, meetings. Let's not despair about them.

2. Communion. This, according to Pope Francis, is the central question before the Church. It is not a marginal issue. He invited religious, in his letter of indiction of the year of Consecrated Life, to expand communion in concentric circles - expanding in an expansion that recognizes no limits, except God, the God who is communion-love.

3. Discernment. The question is not what we want to do, what we would like to do, but: What is God calling us to do? What is the Spirit telling us? This is the core skill of formation. C 98, the formative experience, talks about "learning from experience," fare esperienza dei valori della vocazione salesiana, and C 119 specifies that such learning is a question of listening to the voice of the Spirit in the events of daily life, whether good or bad. Ongoing formation is a question of such attentiveness and discernment.

And communion is a principle of discernment. Every time we are tempted to close in on ourselves, we are going against communion.

4. Hope. Ecclesia in Europa is a great call to hope. Hope is a theological virtue, a gift, and it is, with faith and charity, the substance of our life in Christ. Without hope we cannot be educators. If we are without hope, we are without God, and we might as well stop being Salesians (Rossano Sala, at the Giornate di Spiritualità Salesiana 2016).

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