“Arise, go on your journey” (Dt. 10:11)
trusting in the Promise
Sisters, Daughters of St. Paul, you have chosen as the motto of your 11th General Chapter: “Arise, go on your journey” (Dt. 10:11), trusting in the Promise. Thus it would be well to start from here: from the text and its meaning, in the context of your 11th General Chapter.
1. Why is a General Chapter called a “Chapter”?
It is interesting to remember from the outset why a General Chapter is called a “Chapter.” In the first place, for centuries this name referred to the monastery hall in which the monks gathered, and where they still gather today, in assembly. The room is usually called the “Chapter Hall.”
But why use the word “chapter”? It seems to be due to the habitual practice of opening every assembly by reading several chapters of the Rule or a chapter of Sacred Scripture. This practice gave rise to the terms “Chapter” and “Chapter Hall.”
Your Chapter is not based on a text of your Constitutions but on a chapter of Sacred Scripture that you chose as a font of inspiration: chapter 10 of Deuteronomy, focusing on verse 11. You then added to this verse an idea fundamental to the whole Old Testament: “trusting in the Promise.”
You know well why this verse of Deuteronomy was chosen, along with the perspective of trust in the Promise. But allow me to focus this initial reflection precisely on this text.
I asked myself: what does this text from Deuteronomy have to do with your life and mission, with your charism today, at the end of the second decade of the 21st century? And even more radically: how would this text resound in the heart and practice of Blessed James Alberione?
Let us first take a look at the meaning of the text and then question ourselves about the meaning it can have for your Founder and for you today.
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