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Don’t close the horizon


By JOSÉ ANTONIO PAGOLAArt_Ascension

If we only occupy ourselves with the immediate goals of greater wellbeing, or if we find ourselves attracted by small dreams and hopes, we run the risk of impoverishing the horizon of our existence, losing our yearning for eternity. Is this progress? Or is it a mistake?

There are two things that are easy to verify about this new millennium we have lived in for the past few years. On one hand, we find growing in human society the hope and dream of a better world. We aren’t content with just any old thing: we need to progress toward a more dignified world, one that is more human and full of happiness.

On the other hand, discouragement, skepticism and uncertainty about the future is growing. There’s so much needless suffering in the life of people and of nations, so many poisonous conflicts, so much abuse of our planet, that it’s not easy to keep faith in humanity.

However the development of science and technology is successfully resolving many maladies and sufferings. In the future they will no doubt accomplish even more spectacular results. There’s no way we’re able to imagine humanity’s capability to develop physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

But it wouldn’t be honest to forget that this prodigious development ‘saves’ us only from some maladies within certain limitations. It’s right now as we enjoy human progress more and more, that we begin to better perceive that human beings can’t give themselves all that they desire and seek.

Who can save self from getting old, from the inevitable death, from the strange power of evil? We don’t need to be surprised that many are starting to feel the necessity of something that isn’t just technique or science or ideological doctrine. Human beings resist living enclosed forever in this worn-out and mortal condition.

However not a few Christians live their lives today just looking exclusively at the earth. It seems that we don’t dare lift up our eyes to see beyond the immediacy of each day. In this Christian feast of the Lord’s Ascension I want to remember some words of that great scientist and mystic – Teilhard de Chardin: “Christians, just 20 centuries after the Ascension – what have you done to Christian hope?”

In the midst of questions and uncertainties, Jesus’ followers keep walking through life, carrying confidence and conviction. When it seems that life gets closed in or snuffed out, God remains. Reality’s ultimate mystery is a mystery of goodness and of love. God is an open Door to the life that no one can close.

GC 2014

The Institute Report 2006-2014

CasaLoretoThe Institute Report endeavours to capture the journey of the last 8 years. Our hope is that each will recognize her own journey embedded in the Institute journey (page 4). There are questions highlighted within the chapters; we invite each one, personally and in small groups, to consider the reality presented here so that reflection towards GC ’14 continues with honest conversation (page 1). Continue reading “The Institute Report 2006-2014”

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SEDOS Seminar 2014

sedos rESIDENTIAL SEMINARFrom 20-24 May Institute leadership participated in the annual Sedos seminar. In this 50th anniversary year and guided by the ‘God of surprises’ this mission research and documentation centre took time to remember its history, celebrate its activities and review and renew its purpose. Time   was given to consider ‘what kind of formation is needed in this 21st century. The 115 participants from leadership  groups of religious congregations and associated organisations listened to a variety of speakers, met in small groups for conversation and prayed together. Some frequently heard words were: mission of God; contemplation, Gospel – heart, inspiration and script; discipleship; planetary consciousness; witnesses to the Reign of God; prophetic; reveal the love of God for humanity; be disturbed by the Gospel; transformation of heart, mind, action; passion for the Kingdom, for wounded, hurting humanity; discipleship is demanding, reaches out to the margins. www.sedosmission.org

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The Spirit of Truth

By José Antonio Pagola.

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Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples. He sees them sad and upset. Soon they won’t have him with them. Who can fill that void? Until now he has been the one who took care of them, defended them from the Scribes and Pharisees, sustained their weak and faltering faith, described for them the truth of God, and initiated them into God’s humanizing project. Continue reading “The Spirit of Truth”

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A new relationship with Jesus from Jose Antonio Pagola

jose_antonio_pagola Weekly Gospel reflection from José Antonio Pagola  www.eclesalia.net 

 José Antonio Pagola.

In our Christian communities we need to live a new experience of Jesus, reviving our relationship with him. We need  to put    him decisively in the center of our life. We need to move from a Jesus confessed in a routine way, to a Jesus welcomed in a vital way. The Gospel of John gives us some important suggestions when it speaks of the relationship of the sheep with their Shepherd. Continue reading “A new relationship with Jesus from Jose Antonio Pagola”