Monday, 16 September 2019

Some words from the General Chapter on Blessed Titus Brandsma


The General Chapter of the Order is currently being conducted in Rome. Here is a report from the Carmelite news service (CITOC) of the sixth day of the Chapter, which includes some words on Blessed Titus Brandsma

The second week of the Chapter began with a day of recollection and discernment. Morning Prayer and Eucharist were presided over by William Harry, provincial of the American Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. In his homily, reflecting on the Gospel of the day, Fr. William drew the attention to the fact that we often find experiences and expressions of faith where we least expect them.
Anne-Marie Bos, a sister of the Dutch Province, gave two meditations to the chapter members. The morning meditation was on the Way of the Cross written by Bl. Titus Brandsma in his prison cell of Scheveningen. Sr. Anne-Marie commented on Titus’ text placing them in the context of Titus’ own experience during the period when he wrote it and of other writings of Titus whilst highlighting its meaning for ourselves. This morning session was followed by a period of silent prayer and reflection.
In the evening Session, Anne-Marie reflected on Titus’ concept of mysticism as the beautiful exchange between God and humanity. Mysticism is never completely divine nor solely human. It is precisely the meeting point between both. This is a vocation for all, not just the few. In his spiritual experience Titus was led to be on the lookout for God present in his time and society and to defend and stand up for a true concept of God. All this led Titus to make important contributions in the field of education, convinced that this was a high form of ministry, where the human person could be introduced to the Truth and initiated to a living experience of Faith.
Following Anne-Marie’s input the Chapter members met in linguistic groups for a session of discernment in view of the elections to be held tomorrow. The result of discernment of each group was later shared in a general assembly.
We thank all those who have communicated their active interest and best wishes for the Chapter, together with those who continue to accompany us constantly with their much appreciated prayer.

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