World Assembly Reflections – Day #5

July 26th

On this 5th Day of our Assembly – Open Day – we woke up for a special one. First we welcomed Father General! This began after breakfast with a grand group photo in our chapel… since it has been raining outside the last couple of days. We somehow managed to pack ourselves in. You should be able to see the photo on the World Assembly website. Michelle and Catherine managed somehow to allow themselves to be lead almost behind Fr. General in the photo:) I am a little more to the right of the photo on the floor:) Then all of us flowed right back to the big tent to hear Fr. General speak to us as an Assembly encouraging us to move forward in a discerning way, developing our sensitivity to the times in which we live and making room to hear the Spirit of the Lord within the silences of our hearts. What also struck me about Fr. General’s talk was his vision of the Spiritual Exercises as a school of discernment. This seems so obvious. But there was a wisdom to this reality that struck me more deeply in his talk to us…. the Spiritual Exercises as a school of discernment… Mmmm! Then Fr. General celebrated eucharist with us. I wish I had something to say about his homily to us, but since it was all in Spanish I am at a loss. But Catherine, who knows Spanish (and French!) told me it was a beautiful homily… with a rubbing it in smile on her face. I asked her if it was the most beautiful talk of the Assembly so far… she then took pity on me and said she would not go that far:)

Father General was just in the morning of our day! As if this was not enough, we were then joined by CLC members and the local community for a time of festive celebration. There were people everywhere! I think our Assembly quadrupled in size… including many children, which was a wonderful addition. So many were dressed in all kinds of cultural manifestations… including Michelle, proudly wearing her Canadian red and white plaid shirt like our Olympic hockey team in a gold medal game:) The scene was like a street carnival with festivities all around the perimeter of the courtyard as we tried to keep out of the rain. For us was served all kinds of delicious local receipts, Argentinian wine, and local crafts for us to be tempted by in stalls set up by local artisans.

Then back to the big tent… where hours of wonderful local entertainment awaited us. There were pop songs, proud songs of the nationalities of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, Tango dancing – including by some of our own CLC members, folk songs, little orchestras. Then to end it all later in the afternoon came the large French contingent… members who have been touring Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina during the time of the Assembly. They came to this Open Day decked with flat hats wrapped with ribbons of the French flag with sketches, songs and dances… to the roar of the crowd.

Then they were gone… to leave us delegates to continue the business of our Assembly. We have concluded the half way point of our Assembly, with much more discernment to be entered into.

Continue to pray for us.