At fixed times all the abbots/abbesses come together. They discuss there the salvation of their own souls and of those committed to them. They take measures regarding the observance of the Holy Rule and of the Order where there is something that needs to be corrected or added. They foster anew among themselves the benefit of peace and charity. They devote themselves to maintaining the patrimony of the Order and safeguarding and increasing its unity. (C.77)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Nuances of Love

We are coming close to the end of the work about the House Reports. Some commissions have completed their work with the individual houses, others are into the final work of nuances. We have finished most of the listening: “Is there anything we can do for you?” was often the final question to the superior of the monastery whose report was studied. Some would like a letter of encouragement to the community. It is the drafts of these letters we are now working on, weighing our words to find the right balance, supporting the superior and the community in their good zeal, and addressing issues that needs to be addressed, in love and respect. Again we are listening to one another, how we have perceived what has been expressed, whether to change a word or a sentence, adding or omitting, so that the community can hear in love what we want to say in love.

When we have agreed on the final text, the superior comes back to the commission to hear the letter, and there may be an exchange with clarifications. 

Each commission also writes a report about the work they have done with all the house reports. The same work of love and respect in nuances is done here, being careful to keep confidentiality, yet to say what is needed to say. These reports will be read in the plenary session, so the whole MGM can get a picture of the situation in the Order at present. These 14 reports need to be translated into the different languages, so our translators are very busy these days.

Sometimes a superior has asked for advice in a certain matter, and after having examined and discussed it in the commission, the commission will call the superior back to give this advice.

Some of the commissions have come to the end of this work, and are going on with other questions assigned to the commissions.

It was the Region of Africa and Madagascar  who was responsible for the Mass this morning, the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. As introit we sang “Anyi na ekele gi, Virgin Maria”, with the beautiful refrain of “O Nne, leta anya na mka umu gi.” The experienced capitulants talk about last year’s Mass in the basilica, when the Africans played their drums and used their traditional way of dancing the offertory procession. The room used for our daily Mass is so small that there wasn’t room for drums and dancing this year, but the singing and the rhythms brought out the same joy and vitality, especially in the Alleluia and the Communion song “Mama Maria, mama eee mama”, when one solo voice goes up high between the verses, as if encouraging the singers to go on.

Some good showers of rain Wednesday afternoon gave freshness to the air, and cooled it down a bit. Now the sun again is heating the day to a level seldom experienced by those of us coming from the North. The warmth of love.

Sr. Hanne-Maria of Tautra