"Form a new heart and a new spirit" (Ezekiel 18,31)
Today we began our course with Sr. M. Celine Cunha who will accompany for a few days on topics regarding human formation.
Our first class was spent looking at the heart as the centre of emotions of the person. By doing a quick brainstorming exercise we realised that there are various ways of seeing the heart: physical, sentimental, spiritual, emotive etc.
The Scriptures teach us that the seat of the pyschic life, sentiments, of the will, of reason, virtues and vices are all found in the heart! The heart is the centre of affectivity: my capacity to experience myself and others at various levels which include emotions, sentiments, passions and motivations. This is a very important area for any religious but in a particular way for those preparing and journeying towards a life commitment in consecrated life. In biblical anthropology there are two words used for heart. The first 'nèfesh' appear 755 times in the Scriptures and is often substituted with the word 'soul'. The other 'lev' appears 814 times, refering only to the human being. How then can one say that the Bible is cold and does not speak to our lives?
It was interesting to explore this concept as the Window is a tool that helps us realize where we are in our ability to know who we are and for others to know who we are. Real transparency in communication takes place when those we associate know who we are after we discover who we really are. To render the idea more real, we carried out a series of roleplay using a series of adjectives to express various emotions and sentiments. This is important for our life in community which is inter-relational and based on the continious formation journey of each person. During our roleplay we discovered we have more 'actresses' in our midst than what we thought!
Indeed the 3 day workshop left us with alot of food for thought about our human formation and the need for auto-formation. It is necessary for each person to find a method, relational modalities as well as appropriate resources to faciliate the ongoing work on oneself. Each growth process is marked by the relational dimension. We can personalise the Gospel scene of Mark 10, 46-52 ): Jesus asks the blind man: "What do you want me to do for you?"...the blind man answers: "Lord, that I may see again!". During this time of intense preparation for Perpetual Profession, each one is asking ourselves: "What do I want to change? Do I acknowledge that I am blind?" One of key moments of growth is when we are able to work on our blind spot. This can be simple information, or can involve deep issues (for example, feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, unworthiness, rejection) which are difficult for some individuals to face directly, and yet can be seen by others. In the spirit of Gospel humility and by creating trusting relationships, it is possible to arrive of new levels of awareness.