Comboni Missionaries. 2018: Year of the Rule of Life
To bring to completion the “Guide to the Implementation of the XVIII General Chapter”, pp. 18-19, Italian version, the year 2018 shall be dedicated to the Rule of Life. May the Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary and of St. Daniel Comboni, accompany us in this journey of the Institute which, unlike the times in which the Rule of Life was drafted, breathes a multicultural air: European, African, American and Asian.
May we be truly able to grasp these multicultural riches which, rather than making us afraid or anxious, launch us out into the adventures and surprises of the Spirit, making us grow together in our Comboni identity, in the quality of inter-personal relations and in the prophecy of mission (Cf. CA 2015, 47.3). Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins.
“Therefore, every scribe who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder
who brings out from his store things both new and old”
To bring to completion the “Guide to the Implementation of the XVIII General Chapter”, pp. 18-19, Italian version, the year 2018 shall be dedicated to the Rule of Life.
“We need to ‘remember’, to take a step back from the present to listen to the voice of our forebears’”. These are the words spoken by Pope Francis when he received the 2016 Charlemagne Prize and spoke to the leaders of Europe, inviting them to perform a “memory transfusion” so as to create a true update of Europe of today.
When memory dies, the meaning of history is lost. A person’s feeling of belonging to a family, a group or an institution is closely connected to memory. I exist as I am because others existed before me and others will exist after me: “I am because we are!”.
The process of “revisiting and revising the Rule of Life” has much to do with memory since the RL is the ripe fruit of a journey completed, a life lived, of a multiplicity of encounters involving people, events, successes and failures, hopes and dreams. It is the fruit of many years of confidence in God who guides history, of self-giving to different peoples and races. It is the fruit of working together, of fraternal life lived in reciprocal acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a reflection of the experience and life of the peoples with whom the Comboni Missionaries have shared their thirst for justice and peace, the characteristics of the Kingdom of God.
In this 200-page booklet we come into contact with the life of Daniel Comboni and that of the first missionaries who set out with only one objective in mind, the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Underneath the words we may read in filigree the history of those missionaries whom the 2015 General Chapter calls “existential parables”: we also have the history of our confreres on the way towards the recognition of their holiness by the Church; we have the history of our martyrs, those who shed their blood and that of all those who, in silence, died down through the years, walking humbly among the people, allowing themselves to be guided by the God of their lives, learning languages, cultures, religions, attending the school of the poor, considering them their “teachers and companions”; we have the history of conflicts and tensions, fear and hope, of death in youth or old age, in the silence of the forests or the noise of the city, in the quiet of peace or amid sounds of war, in the struggle for justice and a world of brotherhood.