A New Year Message from our NEA, Fr. Tony de Castro SJ:

January 23, 2009 | Story by: Christian Life Community in the Philippines |
[caption id="attachment_120" align="aligncenter" width="650" caption="CLC-CVX World Assembly 2008 at Fatima, Portugal"]CLC-CVX World Assembly 2008 at Fatima, Portugal[/caption] John Gamit, Je Ching and I were privileged to be sent to Fatima, Portugal last August as the official representatives of CLCP to the CLCCVX World Assembly. The theme of that assembly was "journeying as an apostolic body". When Fr. Nikko, Jesuit Superior General and World Ecclesiastical Assistant of CLC, delivered his address, he zeroed in on the prophetic dimension of our CLC vocation, inviting us to undergo a process of discernment that includes "seeing with the eyes of God, listening with the ears of God, feeling with the heart of God, so that we may speak and do the word of God." In sum, to journey in this world as an apostolic body requires that we become a prophetic community as well. This is going to be a long process. It is almost axiomatic in CLC that nothing happens with lightning speed. We cherish the Ignatian discernment process, and we know that it takes time for us to respond to this call to become ever more authentically an apostolic body that is also a prophetic community. Nevertheless, we are committed to such a process. This process, articulated for us by previous world assemblies, essentially involves "discerning, sending, supporting and evaluating" (DSSE). The context for such a process will necessarily demand that we be sensitive to the "signs of the times." One such sign this year will be the sure decline in economic opportunities for our people, given the financial crash in Wall Street and other financial capitals in the world. Another sign will be the preparations, adequate and non, for the national elections slated to take place in 2010. And then there are those signs that have been with us for the past decade or so: graft and corruption, war, drug trafficking, money laundering, extermination of political enemies and journalists, systematic demoralization of our people, subversion of our public institutions, etc. Given such a dire and dreary context this 2009, CLCP must continue to bring forth from its ranks prophets of hope and apostles of joy. Indeed, as one national apostolic body and prophetic community, it must, as a body and community and not just as individuals, be a beacon of prophetic hope and apostolic joy. It can do that by remaining true to what it is, and that means continuing to drink deeply from the wells of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. It is then my deepest hope for CLCP that the year ahead may be a year of fruitful DSSE, so that in an incremental but significant way, we may truly become more and more a genuine apostolic body and a prophetic community. Jesus Christ expects nothing less from us.
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