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30.10.2023 18:45:29 238x read.
OASIS
FIC JOURNEY TO SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT 20/10/2023 ( Friday Daily Report)

Oasis Report Friday, 20 October 2023  

Bro. Jonas Porekuu. 

We started the day with a beautiful morning reflection in the chapel led by Bro. Theodorus. He invited participants to think of the new covenant to be formulated by each one of them. Thus the day was devoted to the formulation of the true FIC identity and mission according to each participant. This will be in the form of  a “covenant” that will aid each of them to grow into what they have pledged to do when they return to their communities. Thus, this is already a preparation for the third stage of the exercise which is a call to live out the covenant in their communities. 

 

In the following session, Bro. Johan Muitjtens gave a presentation on Immaculate Conception of Mary: Source of Joy, Trust and Courage. Our congregation bears the name “Brothers of the Immaculate Conception”. What does it mean to us FIC Brothers? Bro. Johan believes this is not just by accident but that we as a Congregation have received this title of Mary as an invitation and inspiration. He invited us to see this as a loving act of providence, the providence Louis Rutten and Bro. Bernardus Hoecken trusted so much in. In other words, we should be happy and grateful to God that we belong to a religious congregation which is truly inspired by Mary, and we may believe that we as a congregation, we are also blessed or favoured like Mary. Our Founder Msgr. Louis Rutten trusted in the Divine Providence through the protection and prayers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Founders expressed their faith and trust in Mother Mary when they said:  "If we had known all this beforehand, we would perhaps never have started the thing"It must be said here and everywhere, without the special protection of the Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mother, the Congregation would have been smothered at its birth.

 

The dogma, which was proclaimed in 1854 by Pope Pius IX says (in part) that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception …  was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin. For Bro. Johan, we could say that God prepared Mary from the origin of her life, for her important task and role in the life of Jesus. Mary shows what holds for all of us. Mary is an example par excellence of what holds for each one of us. Individually or as a community, we are blessed from the beginning and may fully trust in God’s grace in all circumstances of our life.

 

The presenter further discerned that in a deeper sense, this feast is more about God, who providentially blessed Mary from the origin of her life. God used Mary as a model for us. Mary shows what God can do with all of us. Specifically, when we are aware of and accept our limitations and are open to God's grace, it can happen to us that we work miracles like her.

What does the dogma mean for our congregational spirituality? Bro Johan had this to say: 

We as Brothers of the Immaculate Conception should be deeply convinced of God’s true and effective help during our whole life and in all circumstances. We should be examples of joy, trust and confidence, in the way Mary expressed in her Magnificat. We should be people of great courage, who are not afraid of risks or uncertainties - not because of our own strength, but because we ‘know’ that we are not alone, that our whole life and work is always carried by God.

 

 

 

During the final session, participants dedicated their time to the formulation of the actual covenant.  Later in a simpleceremony, each participant shared the content of his covenant with the other participants before authenticating it with his signature and that of the General Superior.  In his closing remarks the General Superior thanked all the participants for their courage in making their new covenant. He encouraged them to take this new covenant seriously, and that they should consider the Oasis gathering as a blessing for their spiritual development. He then wished them well in living out the reality of their new covenant in their communities. 

A group picture of the OASIS participants and General Superior

 








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