It feels like I’m back on a roll today, Wednesday 9 August, as I got to breakfast, sorted my room and was back in the auditorium for morning prayer without any effort and without my teapot having its photo taken 😁. (If you’re skipping those links, it’s worth not doing so today as there are some lovely Emmaus pictures on the slides.)
Flavio began our day by reminding us where we are in the U journey, saying that we are on day 7, still in the ‘What are we called to?’ phase. So today would continue to be contemplative, trying to crystallise our answers and make them come alive. We were going to spend the morning in an empathy walk, first sharing in twos until coffee time, then joining the twos into fours, and then becoming a group of eight. We continued to use the spiritual conversation method which is suddenly very clear and uncomplicated as well as being deep and fruitful. The question for the pairs was: (In the light of my day of silence, and of all my thinking here in Amiens) What are we being called to?
When we moved into clusters of four, we were invited to share what struck us as a listener during the first round. Again we used the spiritual conversation method so that by the end of our time, we had gone deeper and, in my group at least, there was a lot of shared thinking. Finally, we moved into groups of eight.
The central question of this phase is: What is coming out from your conversations as major calls by the Spirit to the global body of CLC? We were given five large post-it notes and we had to put one idea on each post-it, being aware that it would need to be understood by others who were not in our conversation so we had to express it as simply and clearly as we could.
I was astonished by how easily our group came up with common ideas and, in fact, we ended up with just four on which we all agreed. I won’t spell them out for you partly because, again, it’s late, but also because our ideas are just four out of so very many.
After lunch (and a very frustrating and fruitless tussle by both Michelle and me trying to format the font of these posts), we went back to the auditorium. Here Flávio showed us this picture (initially without the second speech bubble), suggesting that the man might make three possible answers: ‘Because this bolt is loose’, or ‘Because I am building a skyscraper’ or ‘Because I’m the man who keeps people safe’. He suggested that these answers, all of which are correct, could be categorised as relating to mission (what we do), vocation (what we bring to the world) and identity (who we really are). Our task, then, still in our groups of 8, was to label our post-its with one of these categories and then we put them all up on the wall, in their categories.
While we had a plenary discussion on the ideas, various people had the challenging task of trying to group similar post-its together and to label them accordingly. We ended the session listening to Beatrice’s report of this task. We moved to Mass, aware that tonight the translators and facilitators will be working late, gathering all the material together to use as a basis for tomorrow.
Mass was fantastic. It was Africa’s turn and was as colourful and joyous as you would expect, and not just on the altar! This is Monique in her rather wonderful dress.
After supper we had a European meeting which, astonishingly (well done, Chris!) took only the 30 minutes which we were promised it would last. I’ll come back to this post when I can and type in all the different initiatives planned which I, personally, found very exciting. But it’s late and my bed is calling me enticingly. Igny was late with her diary as she was wandering in other countries but she has now delivered and you can read it here. Don’t miss the third newsletter, jam-packed with photos and all sorts of other goodies, which has just been published.
Michelle and I have been very encouraged to see that Natalia’s circular, reminding people that we are posting daily, has worked and the page views are up. I hope you are enjoying these, everyone. Goodnight and God bless.