Testimonies

There follow extracts from testimonies which were written by young people of 19 to 23 years of age who study at university: Law, Engineering, Architecture, Design, Economics, Agriculture, History and Education[1].

 

On the experience in general

“I don’t know why I came here. The truth is that I didn’t feel part of the Manquehue Movement. Here I have met the Oblates, who are now my friends; I have discovered the Movement’s history, that is my own history, this breath of the Spirit, without planning, that gives rise to great things in little people- like me- who are just trying to give their whole lives to Christ and be able to live his love.”

“When I arrived I wanted to be out of the house as much as possible, to have long walks, climb hills, take photographs of this magnificent place, go fishing, etc… Now I still love living surrounded by nature but I prefer to stay at the house, talking with the others, singing, just being here now.”

 

Lectio Divina

“When I arrived I used to talk a lot about love; through lectio divina I have learnt what love is in Christ. Lectio encourages me to carry on moving forward, because it is where I have found God. It is the most important activity; everything springs from it; it reflects my daily life; who God is for me. I have moved forward on the way of God; I have come to know God; there is a long way still to go. I want to go to God.”

“In shared lectio we build up community.”

“I have had to open myself to listen, making a big effort to listen to the Word. Different situations have helped me: my echo, the echo of other members of the community. I’m not conscious of how the Word is building inside me. Sometimes it has been very difficult to start doing lectio, and afterwards I’m euphoric.”

“God speaks in lectio divina: I’m a witness of that.”

“The best lectio divina were those that were difficult to do (because I was tired or in a bad mood). God speaks always to my personal situation, independent of my mood.”

“I want to do lectio with my girlfriend and with my friends. I don’t want to have relationships where Christ is not the centre; I want to make them true and eternal.”

“I need perseverance; I’m afraid I’m going to fail to be able to carry on doing lectio alone afterwards. I’m my own worst enemy.”

 

Liturgy of the Hours

“I didn’t like it in Santiago; it was very boring. Now I feel a love for it. I feel full of the presence of God. The psalms are all about me; I’m praying with the whole Church; it keeps me in the presence of God during the day; the bells bring me out of myself; the others’ attitude in the oratory make me change mine (I’m not good at concentration). It’s worth it.”

“It’s very difficult for me, the most difficult thing.”

“I’m offering to God every minute of my day.”

“ ‘Always be joyful in the Lord’, I may be sad because of a bad situation, or feel that someone, or the Lord himself, is being unfair; maybe I’m even right to be feeling that way, but the Liturgy brings me to the joy of God’s presence in the world. He is the reason to be always joyful.”

“The Office makes me remember why I’m here, to live my Baptism.”

 

Shared Work

“It’s amazing: we have eaten the potatoes we took out of the ground.”

“The more I work with the community, the more I feel part of it.”

“My point of view about work has changed radically. Now I understand that I’m building the kingdom, evangelizing; that is the reason to do it the best I can. How can we tell people in offices and companies this meaning of work?”

“I can see the work of people in the things I receive.”

 

Community life based on the RB

“When I’m angry someone talks to me and he helps remove that bitter-natured spirit from me.”

“The Rule is a way of being Christian.”

“I have experienced humiliation: I’m loved just as I am, with my moments of anger and my lack of patience with myself.”

“God is in the others. I don’t have to be a hermit to discover him.”

“Fights are great, because they bring us to reconciliation.”

“Community is where I can live martyrdom.”

“Fraternal correction has helped me to discover that I’m not the owner of the truth, it makes me listen, open my eyes to reality- the presence of Christ in everything.”

“It is very important to have time together, to talk, to get to know each other.”

“I realise I’m not able to do things well; I’m weak.”

“I have discovered the spirit of the Rule by the Oblates’ daily and living testimony.”

 

Spiritualities

“I feel part of the Movement, which is a base community. I know that it is not the only one, but it is my community.”

“I know what God has done with the Movement, how he acts, guiding, solving problems. It is a form of the word of God; I feel full of ideals.”

“I feel a part of the Church. Now I understand what communion means.”

 

 

[1] Barry, Patrick OSB, A cloister in the world, p. 445-447

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