Here is ome experiences of the way our communities are living as professionals ( intellectual) in different milieux and through the Revision of Life Method, the challenge of being Prophets on the borders.
1.Why to talk about experiences of community?
– We want to talk about communities because it is the way we understand our faith or our search of living the faith in Jesus Christ. We understand faith as a gift from God however the most effective way to keep on the way and grow in faith is, for us, a double personal and communitarian permanent process.
– Small groups that became community will be the Church in a human scale. From this scale we start to have interest and willing to be responsible for the Global Church community
2.Why do we refer to the Revision of Life Method?
– We understand that this method is a way to develop a permanent search of Jesus Christ’s presence in our lives and in people lives.
– In recent testimonies we heard, during a meeting with professionals, willing to join the Mouvement, that the community of Revision of Life is a space of conscience. Conscience of meaning to think and deliberate with criteria each idea and action.
We are talking here of being conscious not only individually but as a community. Being co- responsible for our action and of our search of God´s presence among us.
3.Why do we consider that Revision of Life leads us to the borders and to be Prophets on the borders?
Remark- Revision of Life is a Method which has the same structure as SJA (See Judge Act) and has been adopted by ICMICA in almost all Latin American and Caribbean Countries. The church has historically validated the method several times at CELAM Conferences from Medellin to Aparecida) as a powerful method of reflection, creating communities of faith and following the participants in their action)
We consider very difficult to find alone the way to follow and to understand Jesus Christ’s words and acts so we try to do it in groups, but even so, it is not easy, so we got this method that has been used since many years by the workers movements ( JOC and ACO), students ( JEC, MIEC), and many others. We have received important testimonies, about their commitment in the world and their faith. These testimonies convince many of us. The way of life of these persons says much about their vision of being lay catholic in the world, also about hope and construction of a better world always trying to reveal the presence of God in the real life.
What we have found is that going through this method makes it easier to arrive to the roots of any situation and to keep our eyes in the perspective of presence of JC. Revising facts that can appear to be difficult to share, sensitive facts, touching political, ethical, economical and any other aspect, through the steps of SJA in a small community we discover aspects of live not easy to see alone and the specific intention to reveal the presence of God in each fact, as well as to try to understand what exactly God is asking us as action in each situation. This process of giving or recognizing meaning of facts shows us the borders or frontiers. However these borders will not represent a limit anymore but a border where we can walk through .
Asking for God’s presence in each situation and walking through the borders we are doing the way of prophets, to go beyond the established limits looking for the Kingdom of God .
We want to share with you some examples of local movement’s realities, from the simple professional exercise, in a position that, looking from outside, we cannot imagine how deep the reflection can go, till some cases of professional exercise where any decision will have a wide and deep political or social consequence.
In the case of professionals and intellectual groups we cannot expect to have a unique millieu for the action (as it was for the Catholic specialized Action ), because it is not homogeneous.
Which is the millieu? All areas and activities where the group members are working and acting. This means practically all possible activities.
So we are facing actions of individuals in different and specific areas but supported by a group that helped to revise and judge before and after actions.
We can tell you about some specific themes of revision and also some themes that we find recurrent from country to country:
República Dominicana: social work with countrywoman on empowering and promotion of dignity. Support to communities in Haiti border (ICMICA group in Haiti on actions with primary schools)
Brasil: Environment and ecological actions in places like Pernambuco state which is specially touched by climate changes (desert in rural areas and floods in the capital city) . Engagement for education in some areas.
Paraguay y Perú (and Ecuador): several members of ICMICA participating in political and government institution ( government departments, elections ) trying to establish and implement programs towards egalitarian societies
Colombia: individual actions, several in Public health policies, women development and defense,
Chile: several members working in primary and secondary education lead to have special activities on this area, conferences, discussions, seminars , usually open to all who are interested
Uruguay: option to work on building citizenship concept and ecclesial life of lay people, considering that Uruguay is a lay and secular country .
Guatemala: group engaged on Human Rights defense since dictatorship times (memory and reparation)