“The Bond of Charity”

Monthly Recollection- chennaiChennai – Fr. Soosai, provincial superior, and Fr. John Kennedy accompanied the priestly confreres of Don Guanella Major Seminary to the Mazhimalai Matha Shrine, Acharapakkam for Monthly Recollection on August 7th. They all gathered on the mountain to reflect on Fr. Soosai’s topic, “THE BOND OF CHARITY IN COMMUNITY.” He said that Jesus was very busy with His mission and praying. Today, there are lots of obstacles in carrying out our mission and praying together; and many challenges in living the bond of Charity in our communities but despite the challenges, they spent this time together with the Lord.
Fr. Soosai based his reflection on the pastoral letter “Fraternal Life in Community” by St. John Paul II and the first Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis, “The Joy of the Gospel.” We are drawn by the charity of Christ. Today, the mushroom growth of individuals in a family, desires to accumulate goods, an easy going culture and ‘apartment syndrome’ are some of the causes for crisis in the family. The misunderstood concept of personal freedom and misuse of mass media are a hindrance to fraternal life. Religious vocation is precious and special. The theological base for fraternity in community lies in the Trinity, three persons who are one in soul and mind. A religious individually does great things; but living together, working together becomes martyrdom. Guanellians must not forget that God and the poor are very important.
Fr. Soosai listed some hindrances to fraternal life: lack of thinking globally, lack of interest for religious life, identity crisis, pooling of favors, a lukewarm attitude, relativism, pessimism, expectation of immediate results, privacy, defensive attitude, individualism, a small circle of like-minded people and isolation. Therefore he insisted we be aware of these things and avoid them in order to have healthy fraternal living. He suggested we live a mystical and contemplative fraternity which is finding God in everything. Jesus called his disciples a “Little Flock” who were salt and light of the earth. Guanellians are also a “Little Flock,” called to be salt and light of the earth. Fr. Provincial insisted, “My dear brother priests, as formators you have the responsibility of clarifying the motivation of your students who are the future pillars of the congregation.” After the talk there was time for personal reflection and group sharing. Finally the recollection came to an end with the Rosary.

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