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Evangelical Use of Goods

10/07/2007: Ecuador

From the 19th to the 21st June, the Finance Committees of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, countries included in the Province of Norandina, met at Los Chillos, a half hour’s distance from Quito and at an altitude of 2600 metres, at the Bethania Social Formation Centre, a property of the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador, for the implementation of the Plan for the Evangelical Use of Goods. As well as the nine brothers (three per country) who are part of the Finance Committees, there were also the members of the Provincial Council. Thus, in total, fifteen brothers, under the guidance and direction of Brother Pedro Ost from the Bureau of the Evangelical Use of Goods, carried out a serious and profound reflection on the Evangelical Use of Goods.

Brother Pedro gave a brief historical review of this theme in our Institute: since 1985, with the Circular of Brother Charles Howard on capitalisation, then in 1990 on the theme of solidarity as the actual face of charity, treated in the Circular “An urgent appeal: Sollicitudo Rei Socialis ”, a theme that was taken up in some way by Brother Benito Arbués in his incisive Circular “Concerning our Material Goods” in October 2000; the capitulants of the XX General Chapter felt this same call to SOLIDARITY, as a “fire that embraces and that devours” (Nº 31 Choose Life).

Brother Pedro introduced the theme by posing this question to us: What idea comes to mind when we speak about Evangelical Use of Goods? Once all the responses of the brothers had been heard, the animator of the meeting underlined two principles that had clearly appeared that would need to be taken into account in the development of the Plan for the Evangelical Use of Goods in the Province:
1º That the brothers must be aware that the evangelical use of goods requires a conversion of the heart: “to move ideas from the head to the heart”, without which everything would only be a pipe dream, perhaps feasible, but without any real or efficient basis.
2º That solidarity and the use of goods means a great deal more than the management or sharing of money; these are goods that belong to us and that, together with our financial resources, we have to share: nature, our life, our time, our gifts and our qualities, our human resources, our material resources, our mission…

Through the methodology of “see, judge, act”, then “evaluate” as a technique for giving feed-back in order to recommence a new cycle of “see, judge, act”, Brother Pedro led us to a serious Provincial planning that touches the personal life of each brother, community life and the life of the Province concerning the evangelical use of goods.

Brother Pedro essentially used three texts to enlighten the biblical foundation of the subject: the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, 25-37, the rich young man in Luke 18, 18-25 and the wedding feast at Cana in John 2, 1-12. At the end of the reflection on these texts, it resonated very deeply in the hearts of all “that it is difficult for a religious who does not share his goods to enter the Kingdom of God and receive the inheritance of eternal life.”

As fruit of the meeting, we established the outline and the guidelines, based on principles, criteria and values that we must take into account so that each sector can develop the plan for the evangelical use of goods in accordance with the characteristics proper to each country, with a first phase consisting of the sensitisation of the brothers, communities and works that will lead to a sincere conversion that will ensure that ideas descend from the head to the heart. Thus, the plan that will result from this will be the fruit of the sentiment of the entire Province.

Brother Isaac Revilla

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