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Canada : Charism Friends in December 2017

The theme for this gathering was Non-Violence

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There were 20 members who participated in the December 10, 2017 gathering of Charism Friends. We try to gather, close to, or on dates that are significant for the Family of the Incarnation, for example, The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – December 8th. The theme for this gathering was Non-Violence: Living in Dignity, Peace, and Respect.

Fred and Mary Ann MacDonald gave an overview and presentation relating to Creation. Next month’s topic will be on the Environment. The MacDonalds and Sister Mary Clare enlightened us with their presentations regarding Creation. The material was drawn from Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si (#236), Pere Louis-Marie Baudouin, and an article from the Prairie Messenger, provided by Sister Mary Clare. I have used the MacDonald’s notes for this article.

From Laudato Si’, we learn that “The Lord …in the mystery of the Incarnation chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter. He comes not from above but from within…that we might find him in this world of ours”. The key to non- violence is to seek and find God’s presence in ourselves , in others and in all that God created. The question is, how do I find God’s presence in others if I cannot find His presence in me?

Mary, the Immaculate One, is our model. From conception she was filled with the Holy Spirit. At a particular time in human history, that was in God’s time, she was born without original sin. From a writing of Pere Louis-Marie Baudouin, we heard, “Your life is a hidden one but God singles you out…everyone regards you as an ordinary woman, but the eyes of the Most High see in you the virgin foretold by Isaiah, the virgin who is to “bear a Son, Emmanuel.”

Mary was perplexed and pondered the message of the angel messenger. In Greek, ponder is “the action of untangling yarn or rope (as in knots). In scripture, “to puzzle things out, to toss them together until they make sense” (article by Sandy Prather, Prairie Messenger).

To avoid violence when we are facing a difficult situation or are tempted to lash out or inflict injury toward another, we need to “…withdraw into Mary’s soul and contemplate the Word in silence….” (Pere Baudouin). We can then ponder our difficulties, sort out the puzzle and prayerfully pick at the knots. In this we will begin to feel God’s presence in the situation and see the knots unravel.

We need to be grateful for God’s gift and to be aware of the rest of God’s creatures…to be spiritually detached from what we possess and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack (#225). Expressions of charity, a love for society and commitment to the common good affects relationships between individuals, macro-relationships, as well as social and economic relationships. Love helps us to encourage a culture of care and to cultivate an attitude of humility.

Catherine DOUGLAS