Meeting of the european Fraternities

"Go with the strength that is in you, I will be with you always! I have called you along the path of hope, witnesses to what is essential of the God of Charity, you will be my heart and my hands in order to love." These words of the entrance hymn for the Eucharistic celebration summarise very well the meeting where forty delegates (laity and LSA) of the Fraternities of the Assumption came together on the 1st and 2nd of October 2011. 
The programme was a heavy one because the Fraternities it involved the preparation of their international gathering to be held in Rome in May 2010. But, we took the time for what is essential – sharing life, all those small gestures which we witness and which build the Reign of God among us, which give us joy and hope in situations that are often difficult. Each Fraternity offered Gospel treasures like the following: "The joy for us of being invited to a meal by a Turkish woman." "A woman who offered to look after the flowers of her absent neighbour." "A mother who had just lost her autistic son said: "to understand somebody who is ’limited’ is to become more limited than that person." 
After the Congregation’s General Chapter in which laity from different countries participated, the Fraternities are continuing their reflection. We live in a world that is "inter" – inter-cultural, inter-generational, inter-religious etc. The encounter with what is different astonishes us, disturbs us and sometimes destabilises us. How are we going to let ourselves be transformed? What is the new horizon to which it is drawing us? After a time of sharing and debate we selected the following theme for the year: 
"With Christ along the road to Emmaus! In this world that disconcerts us, may we let ourselves be transformed so as to build with others a new horizon in which all have their place." 
In our families, our neighbourhood, at work, along our journey with other believers, we look at how we are enriched by one another and how a new world is rising up, one that is composed of all our differences.
The hymn continued: "I have gathered you together within my Church, I have made you witnesses of peace and unity among those who are powerless and wounded." 
Our next meeting on the 17-18 May 2012 in Rome will enable us to share our reflection and what we have witnessed. 
Sr Agnès, community in the 10th arrondissement of Paris 
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