Forty-eight (48) priests, diocesan (40) and passionists (8) participated in the new format of recollection on 12-13 January 2009 at Coco Beach, Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani.
Main facilitator was Fr. Virgilio A. Ojoy, O.P. He gave two lectures: “The Spirituality of St. Paul” and “Christian Values from the Gospel”.
Spirituality means how a person follows Christ. How he/she in his/her particular situation lives the values that Christ lived in his earthly lifetime.
Highlights of Paul’s following of Christ:
a) Christ centeredness – to follow Christ demands becoming like Him: think, feel, speak and act like Christ. “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
b) Apostolate flowing from being Christ-like. Like Jesus, Paul did the apostolate through teaching and suffering (cf. 2 Cor. 11: 22-31).
c) From Mosaic Law to Christian freedom. The Law served the Hebrew people by preparing them for Christ’s coming. Having fulfilled this task, it had no more use. “For Christ is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith maybe justified (Rom. 10:4). Faith is sufficient. But Paul sees the value of the Law as a predisposition to the faith in Jesus Christ. Essential mark of Christianity, then, is freedom. Freedom from the Law and the flesh (cf. Gal. 5:1, 13).
d) Working for and with the Church. The Church is Christ’s Mystical Body, with many different parts (cf. 1 Cor. 12: 1-25). St. Paul worked for the increase of the Church (1 Cor. 9: 19-23). Also to lead the Church towards growth in holiness (cf. 1st & 2nd Timothy and Titus). The Church is participatory. Example: Whether pagans who convert to Christianity be circumcised or not. Peter, Barnabas, Paul and James delivered speeches. Decision: no need (cf. Acts 15: 5-21).
Christian Values from the Gospels.
• New Testament: internalization. OT: external observation. Great leap forward!
• Basically, only one value in the Gospel: people.
Values of love, compassion, justice of the heart are about people.
• Four dominant values, 4 ways of loving or practicing justice.
1. Sharing vs. money and possessions (cf. Lk. 6:24)
2. Social relationships – human dignity
3. Social groupings – Human solidarity. We are all brothers and sisters and God is our Father.
4. Power – Service (Mk. 10: 42-45).
New format. One night and one day. Use of power point for prayers, as well as lectures. Seaside is conducive to reflection.
Thank you, Fr. Bien Trinilla, OP, facilitator of on-going formation of Marbel Clergy and the Parish of Glan under Fr. Romeo Subaldo and his two vicars.
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 516, 26 January 2009)