Recover your first love- PCO Week 2 begins with Lectio Divina

The cool and misty weather provided the perfect backdrop for Lectio Divina— a reflective reading of the Scriptures — as the second phase of the Plenary Council of the Order began, focusing on on discernment.

Br. Isauro Covili, OFM, one of the moderators, explained that Lectio Divina had been scheduled in response to the request of the participants, who had asked that the second phase of the PCO open with a more contemplative session. It brought a welcome change, allowing the Council Members to adopt a reflective stance in regard to the themes being dealt with in the second week. These themes will lead to the formulation of guidelines and a direction for the next three years of the Order’s life.

Br. Juan Isidro Aldana, OFM led a reflective reading of a passage from the book of Revelation that is the foundational text of the PCO (Rev. 2:1-7). In his contribution, which was very much appreciated, he urged the friars to go back to that moment when they first “fell in love” with Jesus and decided to follow him in the Franciscan way of Life.

Br. Juan also gave some questions for the friars to take with them during an extended period of silence and individual reflection, after which they celebrated the Eucharist in their language groups.   These questions were based on looking at the past with gratitude, the present with passion, and the future with hope. They asked whether the current ministries of the Order still reflect our passion and desire to serve people through sharing their joys and sorrows? How do we look to the future with hope, given the difficulties that Religious Life faces? Some of the many issues that threaten our hope are: decreasing vocations and aging members, financial problems, relativism, a sense of isolation.

The friars felt the benefit of an intense morning of individual contemplation, prayerful sharing, and a real sense that the Holy Spirit is moving powerfully in the gathering.