Testimony

The gentleness of God shown through the brothers of the Community

We are Brazilian, married for 21 years with four children. When we were young, we had a life-changing experience with the Lord. God's love gave new meaning to our personal stories. And it was in this context that we met. Driven by the Holy Spirit, we were young missionaries and wanted to have a family that was open to God's will and not closed in on itself.

In 2003, we met Sister Beatrice Bourrat, ccn, who invited us to take part in Cana Week. At that time, we were married for two years and had a daughter. But it wasn’t until 2006, then with three children and exhausted by our daily lives, that we participated in the Cana Week.

We were going through a difficult period together. The challenges of married life, parenthood and professional life meant that our days flew by and our conversations were few and far between. Without realising it, we had put these difficulties at the centre of our lives and removed God from the centre of our family.

During Cana Week, we had the opportunity to spend time alone with God, to be with him as a couple and to have time set aside for dialogue. This gave us the opportunity to experience a time of reconciliation between us and to savour God’s presence once again through personal prayer and prayer as a couple.

After that, we moved closer to the community, which became for us a place where we could meet the Lord, a place where we could nourish ourselves and also give of ourselves in small missions. Our friendship with the Community grew. Little by little, we felt at home. There, we could be who we really were, personally and as a family. On a daily basis, we saw the richness and poverty of the Community, but above all we discovered a new face of God.

Before us now was a God who is present and merciful, who walks with us and is good. He loves us and welcomes us in all our littleness. This gentleness of God shown through the brothers of the community healed us of the deep wounds caused during the missions in our youth.

So, for 15 years, we were immersed in the Cana mission, always very close to the Community. Encouraged by the brothers, we journeyed with the Chemin Neuf Communion for two years.

As we listened to the Lord, we realised that he was calling us to go further. All that time spent « around » the community, experiencing God’s patience, kindness and care for our family, was an opportunity for us to recognise the false images of God that we had and to lose the fear we had of giving ourselves fully to him again. Finally, we realised that he wanted us to be closer, not to steal our lives but to give us life in abundance, and that he rejoices in our offering. This is how we began the discernment process for our commitment. The call to community life has always delighted our hearts. We’ve been committed for two years now, and we remain firm in our desire to do the Lord’s will, despite our difficulties and weaknesses. The Chemin Neuf Community is our home; living and serving alongside our brothers is a beautiful journey.

■  R. P.

Cet article fait partie du numéro 78 de la revue FOI

LE CHEMIN NEUF FÊTE SES 50 ANS

septembre-octobre-novembre 2023

Autre   Vie de la Communauté  

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