Paschal Letter from the Commission

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To all Carmelite friars.
Roma, 17 April 2013
Memory of the Blessed Baptist Spagnoli.

Dear Brothers

"Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish."(Pope Francis - Urbe et Orbe message - Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013)

Along the way as we were preparing for the General Chapter, there was a surprise in store. It was the election of Pope Francis, who with what he has said and what he has done has urged us to look at the Church and our mission with new eyes.  Hope is a key word that pervades his discources and helps us to open new windows in examining the theme that we chose for our reflection in the Chapter: “A word of hope and salvation (Con. 24) Living the charism and the mission of Carmel today”

We would like to share some of his thoughts with you and encourage all our brothers once more to send us, through the provinces, their reaction to the Instrumentum Laboris. In that way we will be able to share with all the members of the Chapter, the thinking of the Order – “sentire dell’Ordine” – so that, rooted in the experience and in the expectations of each one, we may seek the best responses to the challenges that come from the various places where we live, as we endeavour “to live the charism and the mission of Carmel today”, possessed of a hope that never disappoints. (Rm 5,5)
 Let these words of Pope Francis inspire us:

"Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God" (Mass For the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry - Roma Tuesday, 19 March 2013).
We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world. Please do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Do not let hope be stolen! The hope that Jesus gives us.(Mass of Pal Sunday - Roma 24 March 2013)

"But when they (the women) hear the message of the Resurrection, they accept it in faith. And the two men in dazzling clothes tell them something of crucial importance: remember. “Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee… And they remembered his words” (Lk 24:6,8). This is the invitation to remember their encounter with Jesus, to remember his words, his actions, his life; and it is precisely this loving remembrance of their experience with the Master that enables the women to master their fear and to bring the message of the Resurrection to the Apostles and all the others (cf. Lk 24:9). To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have travelled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives" (Homily on Easter Vigil - Rome 30 March 2013)

"The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church through his life-giving and unifying force: out of many, he makes one single body, the Mystical Body of Christ. Let us never yield to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day; let us not yield to pessimism or discouragement: let us be quite certain that the Holy Spirit bestows upon the Church, with his powerful breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization, so as to bring to Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the profound need of human life, proclaiming convincingly that Christ is the one Saviour of the whole man and of all men. This proclamation remains as valid today as it was at the origin of Christianity, when the first great missionary expansion of the Gospel took place." (Audience With the College of Cardinals - Rome, 15 March 2013)
My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward.( "MISSA PRO ECCLESIA" Homily, Rome 14 March 2013)

We remind you again that everyone is entitled to send proposals to the General Secretariat, up to the end of May, to this email address: seggen@ocarm.org.

Looking forward to your response, we express the hope and desire that we will be one in prayer and sentiment, in this time of preparation and in the celebration of our General Chapter.

The Preparatory Commission.