This time she shares about Christmas spent in the Peruvian Andes.
We invite you to watch.
(with subtitles in Spanish)
On September 25, 2021, the American CLM Committee: MCCJ Fr. Ottorino Poletto, Beatriz Maldonado and Mireya Soto, with the accompaniment of Alberto de la Portilla, were pleased to meet with the CLM of America and some of Europe, to have a formative conference, given by Father Dario Bossi, with the theme “the vocation of the laity in the socio-political and ecclesial context of America“.
Father Dario Bossi is a Comboni Missionary, currently provincial coordinator of the Comboni Missionaries in Brazil. The theme was developed in three important points: Colorful spots (to understand the situation where we are), Christian lights (lights that from the faith and the Church help us to understand the reality and provide ideas) and CLM Mission (some ideas that as missionaries, in our case Comboni Missionaries, we can develop).
He explained that America is a continent with cultural richness, natural resources, and in the face of the storm that humanity is going through, we CLM have the commitment to dialogue and act in favor of the poor and the needy, hence the hope and the lights that we have such as the Encyclicals of Pope Francis in which he speaks of the commitment to nature and the need for a Church to go out; The mission ad gentes and our relationship as Comboni family.
The conference has been recorded and you can listen to it and analyze it (here below in Spanish) for further enrichment of our groups.
Our meeting ended with the prayer that Christ taught us, giving thanks for having gathered and shared.
“Divine works are born and grow at the foot of the cross“. St. Daniel Comboni.
Mireya Soto, CLM American Committee
Perhaps this type of living in constant arrivals and departures may be the best way God has to show us the love he has for us and the secret formula of living at the service of others.
Thus, mission will always be a meeting of lives almost magically crossing one another, as if everything were already planted in our history. Mission will always be the concrete way of being living witnesses of a love that does not die. It is reborn and gives new birth.
Today we speak well about you. Afterwards, there remains the certainty that we were and always will be whole when we give of ourselves without self-interest, timelessly at all hours, when we step down from everything we have been building since forever and go back to being like children among them. We are family where smiles never end and tears sprout at times. We are a home where there is always room for one more. We will always be. Mission has not ended. It will never end. Because love always conquers. Mission is waiting for you and always will.
Paula and Neuza, CLM in Peru
I write to you as I contemplate the landscape. The sun is barely visible, but I can already see the silhouette of the volcano in the moonlight. Today I again climbed the mountain, one of those places where I lower my defenses and I can imagine, on the other side of sunset, the faces of those, not those I left behind, but all those who constantly allowed me – and still do – to fly, at times with fear, but still trusting in this great plan that God has for each one of us. For me. I look intently at the horizon, God and me. Me and God alone. He allows me to get close, and embraces me through the wonders that I can see. He waits for me in silence on top of this small mountain any time I believe that I cannot make it, any time reality becomes cruel, any time everything turns dark, or too heavy to carry… At these times, I climb the mountain, I let go of the heavier stones I carry in my bag, to be able to go on. I climb searching for silence, for hope, looking for myself. Looking for God.
The sun has already left this small mountain, and I am left alone with my thoughts. Thus, I remain alone with the cry of those who come this way, seeking refuge, seeking love, seeking God. During these unfathomable moments I become part of nature that surrounds me.
To climb the mountain allows me to get out of myself, to quietly observe nature around me, to feel all that I carry inside me, to realize that love is made up also of falls, that we also build with the stones found along the way. It allows me to see light. I allow my eyes to open and no longer face the darkness buzzing around me as I climb, I see the little lights shining in the midst of these people, I feel the divine presence among us all in these little lights, in these hearts seeking for him, in the hope of those who believe, in the perseverance of those who dot give up in the face of sorrow, in the knees of those who pray, in the courage of those who risk to move ahead, and then I see the lights that remain in me.
And, as I descend from the small mountain, I feel God again with me. Once again, he invites me to meet with the poor and the needy, with all those who open their doors to me every day, and with all those who still wait for me to arrive. He makes my burden light and makes me feel the joy to be mission in the only way possible, through love.
May we all be able to climb the mountain as often as necessary during this journey of life. May we always empty our bag we carry all the time. Let us not be afraid to speak of whatever happens within us when we are alone with God.
With love and gratitude,
Neuza Francisco, CLM
Perhaps our idea of mission and of the world is a little rosy, but for me mission is a rainbow of colors, emotions, instants and learning. Mission is more than the vast blue sky I embrace every day at the beginning and at the end of it, it is more than the brown color of the desert’s sand that covers the ground. It is also more than the green of the scenery where some trees fight to stay green, or the grey of foggy days hiding the volcanos. Mission is an immensity of colors. It is the color of the faces that make me smile and the color of the stories I listen to hour after hour reminding me about what we are made of, and it is the color of all those hearts that teach me how it is possible to love more. But it is also the color of the smiles, the hugs, the tears and the color of the natural and human scenery. The daily mission to stick with them has a lot of colors.
They are the children who call to me in the streets or in the kindergarten, where I joyfully share my returning to being a child with them, giving myself without fear. They are the elderly who freely dance when they come to visit since, allow me to say it, for them we are often the only family they have. There are real stories of survival and struggle. Or the families when we gather to share it all, which is the sum of individual parts because it through this occasion that we meet and donate of ourselves without preconceptions or conditions, simply because that’s the way it is. It is also in the daily visits where I find the true meaning of my walking around and where I see the colors of the world here and now. Here in this little burg I daily live the experience of being me, with the essence of all the colors I feel inside and of those I allow myself to see in the world.
I confess to you that often I allow myself to be molded by them, by their experience of life and of God, that I allow myself to observe and where I have many teachers. So, I allow myself to get out of myself in order to learn from them. I always believed that they did not call me for nothing else but to love. To love these people, this culture and these customs. To love in all its aspects, in the falls in the errors, in the getting up and with the hope of being a better version of myself every single day. And even though over a year has gone by, I keep on learning from them – we learn together. Thus, each day I discover another color both inside and outside me, in this interchange of life, histories and faces where every day I discover the color of love.
PS. Love is not of one color. Love will also have the color you choose!
With love and gratitude,
Neuza Francisco, CLM