Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monday 11 September

After a restful Sunday afternoon, we were ready to get back to work with renewed energy. We started the morning with a conference by Mother Caterina of Macau on The Vision of the Order for the 21st century. Her talk is published here separately.

A second conference in the morning was given by Dom Mauro Giuseppe Lepori, Abbot General of the Cistercian Order (O.Cist.). He started with quoting St Paul, who ran to end the race without looking back. Looking back prevents us from looking forwards. We must not looking back but memorise the past, by integrating the good things of the past into a living hesitance. The purpose of our life is to transmit life. It is about life (vie) and not survival (survie). Choosing for survival is choosing for death. It is a choice of fear, a choice lacking faith in resurrection. Our society is focused on survival: surviving natural disasters, surviving terrorism, surviving all kinds of things that threatens us. On the other hand, our charism is a choice of life, as St Benedict said “Is there anybody here who yearns for life and and seek good days?…If you desire true/real life and eternal life…” This is the life we choose, and the life that is a prophetic answer to the challenges of the times.

Dom Mauro also spoke of a meeting in last May in Citeaux, together with our Abbot General, the local Abbot Olivier and many others considering how Citeaux can become again the focal point for all who share the common heritage that came from this place. Also the efforts made to have St Gertrude of Helfta, declared Doctor of the Church, are a common undertaking. On this topic Dom Olivier gave us some extra information of the whole process.

After lunch we all went back into our different commissions to discuss the house reports and some related subjects.

This evening there is also a meeting about the smaller communities, their challenges and joys.

And tomorrow is another day,

Greetings from Assisi,

Fr Jan,
Region of the Isles.