Today, we began a five-day workshop to be given by Philip Pinto, former Congregation Leader of the Christian Brothers. The theme of the workshop is: A Contemporary Understanding of Jesus and Religious Life. Some of the ideas that Philip shared on the first day of the workshop.
The essence of being Brother is sharing spirituality. Mission is sharing spirituality. Philip addressed the Brothers and shared with them his own journey in his understanding of God, Jesus and religious life. The search for God and the spiritual journey is a search that is present in the whole world. The church that we know is over. There is need for a new church, a new understanding of God and how do we express this new understanding of God. This is the Jesus story.
Philip asked a key question: Am I praying? Am I in relationship in God? What way do we pray? And what is our understanding of the mystery we call God? Do we take shelter in a silent obscurity or can we listen to new melodies break from the heart and where the old tracks are lost and a new country is revealed?
Philip stressed that the core of our life is our deep need for meaning. Only when we focus on our deep wound and our deep hope that we begin to touch the deep mystery of God. It is in the moments of chaos that the Spirit can begin to speak to us, unleashing all the creative forces within us.
We need to pay attention to the vulnerability that is within us, and to seek the healing that comes from sharing this vulnerability with our fellow beings. And central to this search is a new understanding of God. We need to turn to the way of Jesus and to open up his way in the world and in the Church. This is the good news! Jesus is inviting us to change the way we think! His message: Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Do we believe that?
Philip stressed the essential identity between human and the divine. Sin is not so much an offence against God but a failure to be human.
The challenge for all of us is to grow in our understanding of God. We cannot have the same idea of God that we had five years ago. We need to change our views and understandings as well as deepening our relationship with God.