Listening to the calls….

Reflection after Week 3
We began Week 3 still being accompanied by Sophie, Philippine and the whole Society of the Sacred Heart.  As a Chapter we journeyed in a climate of communion, developing a collective image of the Congregation as a Body in its current ecosystem.
The whole process was lived in an agile and dynamic way, which helped us to delve deeply into the intentions behind our searches: “Sensing our reality, making present our collective intention, and carrying it out.”  We lived out these stages in a participative and dynamic way, in a spirit of discernment, with times for reflection, dialogue, silence, in other words spaces for retreat and for sharing in plenary sessions.

Discussions in groups and in plenary


What do we need to let go?

We gathered up and gave form to the calls that we are sensing as the body of the Society.  We looked at our core intention (Who is God calling us to be?  What is God calling us to do?) , which is in the heart of the new life that is emerging and that God is inviting us to serve.  During these days, we were encouraged by the following message: “Happy are those who surrender themselves to you, O God, trusting in the Heart.  You keep us in joy, in simplicity, in mercy.” 
In the midst of the activities of the Chapter, and during one of our evening Masses, we received, with great surprise and joy, a friendly greeting from Pope Francis.  As Society of the Sacred Heart, the Pope’s words encourage us and impel us to keep on searching with “courage and patience,” for the calls of God in the Church and in the world. 

In this spirit of trust, we worked on the implications that the calls might have for our community life at a local, provincial, regional and international level.  We also looked at organising ourselves in new ways that could give life and impetus to the body of the Society so that it may respond to the new future that is emerging.

We completed the third week in the certainty that God is calling us to respond by being centred in and impelled by the strength of the love of his Heart, to continue to re-read history with his eyes, to listen to the world with his ears and to sense reality with his Heart.  However, we still have to continue to concretize all of this and to give final form to all the work that has been done. 


Now, we are continuing to prepare ourselves to enter into a powerful moment of prayer and discernment in order to initiate the process of election of our Superior General.  We leave you with some words of advice from St. Madeleine Sophie which continue to animate the spirit of the Chapter:

“To hand oneself over to Him for the present and for the future,
without useless questioning and without anxiety …
we should be humble and courageous.”

María José Arana rscj and Viviana Cueva rscj

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Section |General Chapter 2016