On the 28th, 29th and 30th of December they are historically placed in the period in which the Magi are on their way following a star in search of Jesus. Also for the sisters of the Province of Rome was the time of research, in preparation for the next General Assembly of the Congregation: three days of General House Conference in which about thirty sisters asked themselves about what happens inside “the wineskins” of the consecrated life: does the wine ferment and simmer or water down? We are old wineskins, dried up by the lack of willingness to change? Consecrated life is experiencing a moment of change and is discovering the new wine which, fermenting, becomes sparkling-passionate. It is necessary to settle in a state of conversion, beginning to accept to question oneself. We have to overcome that tenacious resistance that hinders, underneath, the rush of holiness, the jolt of a new passion for the Gospel at the service of the Kingdom, especially as we are Daughters of a Founder who releases missionary fire.
Dr. Sara Staffuzza has challenged us: we must make ourselves a culture of continuous formation that must become ordinary and be fulfilled in everyday reality. “Whoever wants to serve me will follow me” (Jn 12,26). We are used to serving and it is easier to provide services but it is so difficult to follow Him, the person with whom we have a relationship of Love, the result of an encounter that has changed us from within and which can not stop. The consecrated life is then formation for all ages and its purpose is to make the humanity of the nun, always poor and wounded, image of Christ, beloved husband. Formation is a matter of the Holy Spirit, only He can unite our humanity with that of Christ and, in this reciprocity, slowly, the qualities of Jesus, his choices, become ours. We should not expect formation that comes only from the outside, but we must let the Spirit act, passing from within the heart and thoughts, outside the gestures, in time and place of the Lord’s visits in our Nazareth of daily life.
Don Luca Zanchi starts from the Word that in a unique and personal way can challenge and shape life. The analysis of the text of the Word, (Mk 2: 18-22), reveals to us that the Presence of Jesus is the time of joy, of celebration, not of fasting, but which, although the message is clear, lends itself to to the murmur: “Your disciples do not fast …”. Jesus replies: “You preach mercy and exclude …” The essence of the matter is that there is incompatibility between the teaching of Jesus and the customs of men, perhaps even ours, and we dare to say: “Who are you, with the claim to come to teach us, that we bear the weight of a long history? “And we remain anchored in our beliefs.
What is the old man who scares me and the old man who provokes me?
What is the new one that hampers me and the new that stimulates me?
It is necessary to settle in a state of conversion, to change course, to accept to question oneself, even if there is a bitter taste in the heart of the question: where am I going, in whom am I believing?
News / creativity and loyalty / continuity have nothing to do with habit. It is necessary to reread some inadequate life practices, blocked life projects, and ask concrete questions to understand what is the real support that the Gospel gives today to our being consecrated women and Daughters of Mary.
Fidelity and continuity do not mean being faithful to tradition to guarantee the future, but to be in conformity with the original, that is, to Christ whom we wear from Baptism.
Sr Sabrina Pollini introduces us to the Economy of Communion and gives indications on how to put the economy at the service of the person, of the mission, and on how to serve the Church concretely through our goods.
The Provincial Mother, Sister Giovanna Petronio reminds each sister of another great responsibility, today very neglected: that of helping to pass on the historical Memory and Continuity of the Institute. The Memory documented in the Archives of the Communities can become Lectio divina and should be read as a history of salvation in which the red thread of God’s action is traced in the lives of sisters and communities.
Waiting for the General Assembly next January 24 and the indications that will give us, reasserted and refreshed, we conclude the Conference with the blessing of the Father Founder and Madonna dell’Orto, grateful for the past, happy with what we are living and daring for the future.
We leave without fear for the personal and Institute limits, we recognize so many new potentialities, with a new prophetic vision, open to the needs of the mission, ready to say to the Lord our “here I am today”.
Sister Rosella Zilli