GC 27 THEME: WITNESS TO THE RADICAL APPROACH OF THE GOSPEL
PC 16 TASK 1: IMPLEMENTATION OF GC 27 & PC 13
BECOMING MYSTICS OF THE SPIRIT
“Rediscovering the gospel roots of our apostolic consecration”
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” (Jn 14: 5).
“We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived” (1 Jn 2: 6).
Salesian References: GC 27 articles 1-7, 31-38, 64-67; PC 13 documents -Topic 1, pages 1-3.
“He cultivates union with God, aware of the need to pray without ceasing in a simple heart-to-heart colloquy with the living Christ and with the Father whom he feels close at hand. Attentive to the presence of the Spirit and doing everything for God’s love he becomes like Don Bosco, a contemplative in action” (C, 12).
Significant quotes from GC 27:
“We recognize that the time in which we are living is a place of encounter with the Lord” ((GC 27, 1)
“Only a personal encounter with God, through his Word, the sacraments and our neighbour, can make us significant and authentic witnesses in the Church and society” (GC 27, 1)
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but an encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, 1.).
As for Don Bosco, for us too, the primacy of God is the cornerstone of our raison d’etre in the Church and in the world. This primacy gives meaning to our consecrated life. … We are essentially “seekers of God” and witnesses of his love among the young and the poor” (GC 27, 32)
“Young people … are seeking significant adults to accompany them and help them to mature in life… (They) question us on our spiritual roots and vocational motivation” (GC 27, 1 & 3). “The young people demand a down to earth and coherent lifestyle of us” (GC 27, 38).
“By uncritically responding to social needs and demands, we are silent as regards the experience of God and run the risk of no longer understanding our specific mission as religious in today’s world” (GC 27, 2)
Some of the signs of primacy of God in our lives are: experience of Eucharist and common prayer as source of support and communion, quality of our life of evangelical counsels, option for poor youth, sense of belonging to the Church and Congregation, knowledge of Don Bosco and preventive system, everyday spirituality marked by family spirit and positive interpersonal relationships (GC 27, 3).
“Our mysticism is expressed as both our personal and community lives become more profoundly human” (GC 27, 33).
The Salesian, then, bears witness to God when he spends himself for the young … to his last breath … and knows how to tell of his own experience of the Lord” (GC 27, 33)
“The most significant challenge consists in finding creative ways to state the importance of the spiritual values and a personal encounter with the God of life, love, tenderness and compassion” (GC 27, 38).