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It is the time to detect the virus and to cure it!

By Fr. J Mota. SDB

Dare, Timor Leste, 12 November 2020 -- The evening of Sunday, 8 November was the opening of the annual retreat for the second group led by the TLS Provincial, Fr. Apolinário Neto, sdb by praying the solemn Vespers together with the retreatants and the preacher, Fr. Anacleto Pires, sdb. In his short reflection after the Reading of the Word of God, the Provincial emphasized the importance of this golden opportunity in line with the article 91 of our Constitutions. He recalled the monthly which every confrere has undergone during the several months and now it is the fundamental part and synthesis of all practices of piety in our daily encounter with the Lord. For this reason, he encouraged the confreres to reflect and to use properly this important moment of grace. Since it is the time to evaluate one's interior life as consecrated Salesians, our religious profession or ordinations, community life and pastoral works. It is also an appropriate time to see one's consecrated life witness: to live in a virtuous obedience, generosity and charity in the mission entrusted to our care.

Around the world nowadays, many countries are still struggling and fighting the Coronavirus (Covid19). Related to that situation, the Provincial added an important element for our reflection during this annual retreat, i.e. time to detect the virus and to cure it! It's not only Covid19 in a physical or medical sense, yet there are so many spiritual viruses injected and have infected our body, mind and soul. Each and every confrere will be guided by the preacher, yet they will be given more period of time to do personal prayer and reflection.

The provincial reminded retreatants that to fight all spiritual viruses we should implore the power of the Holy Spirit to install the antivirus!

The first task is to detect or to discover, to recognize the virus and ask the power of the Holy Spirit to remove, to erase and to cure it! Once we acknowledge ourselves in front of God, our whole being will be renewed and will strengthen our consecration to live in a new life according to the Spirit, not the flesh, a transformed life in the society and in the community.

On these first three days the reflection is all about vocation, God's compassion revelead and personified in Jesus, the Good Shepherd and our founder, Saint John Bosco. There are some biblical figures in the Old and New Testament presented by the preacher on how God calls them for a specific purpose according to God's plan. Likewise what happened to Saint John Bosco and each and every confrere as the continuers of his mission. The preacher invites each confrere to go back and start afresh from Don Bosco as what Pope Francis has put it in his message to our Congregation in the occasion of the recent GC 28, "The Valdocco Option of your GC 28 is a good opportunity to go back and engage yourself with the sources and ask the Lord: Da Mihi Animas Coetera Tolle."








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