We can offer much to provide the basic atmosphere of security, care and support – physical and spiritual – for one another.
We will surely be challenged to take some risks together for God’s people, very particularly in serving the poor and in working for peace and reconciliation in the conflicts around us.
Our community is a “school of the Lord’s service.” We can learn much from one another and grow together in holiness. In particular, our common prayer can help us deepen our sense of God, individually and collectively.
Our community is an “infirmary.” Each of us has his own weakness or sickness, and each of us has a capacity to cure and alleviate pain.
This year together we may have some disappointments and some failures. But the Spirit of Christ will be with us, to bond us together and help us pick up the pieces. The Spirit is especially evident where there is need for pardon and starting anew.
As we look ahead together, let us remember that we are a “permanent mission” and that we can attain great things by working together.
Let us pray for the grace of living and working together with one heart and one soul. Let us pray for our local community, that it may grow in creative fidelity, in authentic witness to the gospel, that it may really be “a permanent mission.”
Mary, who gave life and formed it, will help us discover the energy, peace and patience, the affirmative and healing presence that our community needs. It is her guidance and missionary dynamism that I wish for you and for each of our communities in concluding these reflections.
David Joseph Fleming, S.M.