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Retreat in Mozambique – 16-22 July, 2010

02/09/2010: Mozambique

I consider that the retreat was one moment of grace because it was a moment of a special encounter with God, with Mary and with the Brothers in prayer and through prayer. I came with great enthusiasm to this retreat because I knew that it was going to be a retreat on Mary, as we had suggested during the retreat last year. This suggestion was welcomed and put into practice during the retreat we have just finished. For the first time I heard with so much insistence expressions as Marian face of the Church, Marian profile of the Church, Marian element of the Church, Marian principle of the Church. Likewise, I have heard for the first time a clear explanation of the Mysteries of the Light, a new set of mysteries in the Rosary. They are very simple things, but of which I never was told anything.
Day by day, during these 5 days of retreat my knowledge and also my prayer were well enriched with the material and the information given to us. The possibility of having a lot of time for prayer and personal reflection was also very good: it has allowed us to come back personally to the biblical references, to the documents of the Church and of the Institute that were given to us abundantly during the retreat. The whole material that was offered was a very suggestive one for study, for interiorization, for reflection and for prayer.

Personally the retreat helped me to consolidate several aspects that I already knew or to discover other aspects practically unknown on Mary. I’d underline:

• I have discovered more features on Marys life, her openness to the mission entrusted to her by God and her total availability to God’s voice and God’s will. I acknowledge that the retreat was a new way to approach the theme of Mary and to bring us closer to her. In a certain way, it was a revelation of the figure of Mary.
• I was surprised, following this new revelation of Mary, of Mary’s prominent, singular and unique place in the plan of salvation. Only now I have discovered with spiritual joy the Marian profile of the Church in the light of Vatican II.
• It helped me to see Mary, as that woman whose life was a continuous offering to God’s will; her FIAT was continually renewed because she was continually called to live the obedience of faith. While meditating the mysteries of the Rosary with Mary I discover Marys faith and this gives me strength to live more deeply in my life both the dimension of faith and the dimension of the obedience of faith.
• In a very concrete way the retreat gave me the opportunity to collect a good amount of material that will of great help to me to share in retreats that I may lead with the youth, with Marys Legion and other apostolic movements. The whole material shed a great light on the Marian theme. In fact, what was said here to such a reduced number of Brothers should be shared also with other religious and other lay people.
• The retreat helped me to relate to what happens in our communities, very often dumb in relationship to Mary with what should happen in our life of Consecrated people (to Christ and to Mary): to be effective witness of the love of God in the world and, as maristas, to have the capacity to reveal to the world the Marian profile of the Church, living in our lives Marys attitudes. I am invited to make Christ and Mary the center of my life.
• For me remains precisely the challenge of living and of putting into practice those marian attitudes, to share them afterwards with all those that the Lord brings in my apostolic journey. Let me suggest that to reveal the Marian profile of the Church to the world should become a priority in the apostolic task of the Institute. In so doing we will be answering fully to the request of Pope John Paul II .

__________________
Brother António Sanasana and Brother João Reis
Naamacha, Mozambique, July of 2010.

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