Friday, September 6, 2013: The Fourth Day of the Chapter

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This day was dedicated to continuing our reflections on the Chapter Theme. In the morning, Michael Plattig, O.Carm., Professor of Spirituality at Münster University and a member of the German Province, presented, Living Charism and Mission for the Carmel: A Word of Hope and Salvation. He considered Carmelite Identity and Charism as the basis from which we can find words of hope and salvation for the world today. He said, “We Carmelites owe the Church the proclamation of God who redeems and liberates us, who wants to live in a relationship with us, a relationship of love and confidence, of reverence and of respect for the freedom of the other.” The Chapter was invited to ponder deeply on our history and prayer in order to find the hope that is so elusive for so many today.

In the afternoon, the Chapter was pleased to hear from Doctor Nuria Calduch-Benages, a religious of the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and a professor of Biblical Theology. She invited us to consider the figure of Miriam, sister of Moses, as an example of one who lives and acts on hope. Indeed, Chapter 2 of the Book of Exodus has many examples of women who live and act on hope, even in opposition to the power of kings and Pharaohs. Miriam’s patient waiting on the banks of the Nile along with her prudent action enabled Moses to live and go to be the liberator of Israel. She then asked us, “Are we men and women of hope? Do our thoughts, words and actions reflect a love of life or of death? On what do we base our hope? As Miriam thanked God by singing the canticle of Exodus 15, and as Mary of Nazareth thanked God by singing the Magnificat, what is our canticle of hope and thanksgiving?

In the evening, we had the honor and pleasure to attend Mass with Bishop Filippo Iannone, O.Carm., the Vice-Regent of the Diocese of Rome. He found it a delight to celebrate with his brother Carmelites and share the beauty of our faith and hope.

Tomorrow, September 7, the Chapter will participate in the Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria, following the request of Pope Francis. It will be for us a day of fasting and penance, along with our petitions to the good God for peace in the world.