Read the first reflection of this series: Vatican II | A Grateful Look at the Past
Embracing the future with hope!
As Xaverians we are grateful for the love for the congregation, the deep faith, courage and hope of our Brothers who led this effort of adaptation and renewal. We are grateful for Brothers Thomas More, Superior General, Bartholomew Varden, Provincial of the American Northeastern Province, Bernard Starkey, Provincial of the American Central Province, Edwin Verbouw, Provincial of the Belgian Province and Plunkett, Acting Provincial of the English Province.
These Brothers, along with twenty-four other Xaverians from the four provinces, embraced what was then our future with great hope. Who we are today we owe to them. They had no blueprint to follow. However, they started what continues today as the ongoing renewal of the spiritual life of our congregation. The question for us today is, “Are we going to embrace a very uncertain future with the same hope?” The answer, I believe, lies in the spirituality of our deep story and our willingness to share the story with each other.
Also we gratefully remember the lessons of patience, perseverance, and trust of the chapter delegates as they examined closely every aspect of Xaverian life. The record shows that they spoke honestly to each other and attempted to understand different cultural needs and points of view. When necessary these Brothers were able to disagree strongly with one another and to do so with fraternal charity. Another question for us today is whether we will work together for the cohesion of vision and sense of purpose necessary to move together into the future. This is my hope.
We are grateful for the far reaching trajectory that this chapter set for us as a congregation. In the words of Gaudium et Spes, “… the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and interpreting them in light of the Gospel” (2). We are grateful for our leaders who, for the past fifty years, have called us to ongoing scrutiny of the signs of the times and the call to ongoing spiritual renewal. The question facing us is, “Are we willing to do the same?”
Next Monday, (December 22, 2014) we will look at how we are “living the present with passion.”