The Grace We Shall Ask For
Lord, help us to go forth; show us the way.
To ask for a grace means expressing a desire all in hoping for movement and change.
Asking for this grace clearly expresses our desire to go forth, to move forward. “Go forth” was the third verb in Buenos Aires. It is the starting point of the Assembly in Amiens.
By asking the Lord to “show us the way”, we also express that we wish again and again to better articulate the three pillars of our charism (spirituality, community, mission); to better conjugate the three verbs (to deepen, to share, to go forth) as three inseparable dimensions of our commitment, rather than three chronological moments; and to apply each one of the three verbs to the three pillars.
The theme of the 2023 Assembly
Discerning Paths for Hope
We shall discern, that is we shall seek and choose together. Buenos Aires revealed that this “exercise” of discernment, which goes beyond understanding, is possible as long as it is based on a clear methodology and the assembly’s attitude of faith. The Assembly, discerning together, is much more than the sum of its participants.
Now, if Buenos Aires was a founding experience, the way of proceeding in Amiens will be different, because the object of our discernment will be more concrete. The discernment will be directly connected to the frontiers, those identified in Lebanon and those our discernment will lead us to.
We want do share and deepen the question of “how to go forth,” that is to clearly formulate ways of proceeding that are coherent with our charism, wherever our commitment leads us.
Where? In what spirit? How? These three questions summarise the journey that leads CLC from Lebanon, passing through Buenos Aires, towards Amiens. We want to believe that it is a path of maturity, without, however, leaving any member or any community by the roadside
This coming August all CLC roads will lead to Amiens. There, we shall discern the paths that will lead us beyond: beyond what the community already is, beyond our comfort zones, beyond declarations of intent.
We want to be concrete and explicit, while respecting the limits of our expertise: we shall look for ways to promote hope, which is always a gift of God and theological virtue that produces facts and changes life.
The Text from Scripture
Let us hear as if for the first time that we are called to be witnesses to Christ. In deeds much more than in words.
Let us receive the call to go to the ends of the earth, since the field of our CLC mission knows no limits (GP 8), and in Lebanon we committed ourselves to act at the four frontiers wherever our desire and discernment lead us.
Let us remain faithful to the call we heard in Buenos Aires that helped us to realize that our charism supposes a deep personal and communal integration of faith and commitment.
Let us repeatedly return to the General Principles, which are not just a simple suggestion for reading, but more particularly an invitation to live our vocation “according to the Spirit of the Gospel and the interior law of love”. This law “which the Spirit inscribes in our hearts, expresses
itself anew in each situation of daily life. It respects the uniqueness of each personal vocation and enables us to be open and free, always at the disposal of God. It challenges us to see our serious responsibilities and to seek constantly the answers to the needs of our times and to work together with the entire People of God and all those of good will for progress and peace, justice and charity, liberty, and the dignity of all people”.
World CLC suggestions for prayer and thought
The logo of the Amiens gathering was created by Bernard Debelle, member of CLC in France. It is inspired by that of CLC in France, which shows three characters walking on a path, like the Emmaus companions in search of new hope. In the CLC France logo background, we see the sun, of a characteristic yellow.
For the world gathering in Amiens, the sun in the background is replaced by the Earth, which the three characters are invited to roam. They just have to follow the path that winds freely around the globe. Indeed, the hope of the Gospel promises more than a better future: it announces that the Kingdom is already here, living in and around us. It is up to us to explore the world to find God in all things!
Therefore, just like the Magi who walked under the guidance of a star, the three characters in the logo advance towards the world with their eyes fixed on the dove, which guides them along the way.
Trusting, they follow it: the texts in the Bible see the dove as a messenger of hope and a sign of the Holy Spirit. The dove is also known to announce peace. It evokes so many men, women and children who are hoping for an end to war. They remind us that the discernment of paths for hope is not an abstract issue.
The yellow of the path is that of the sun that illuminates the CLC in France logo. The tones of the colors have been chosen carefully; the blue-green tone harmonizes with the sunny, warm yellow. Blue suggests the spiritual dimension; green suggests hope.
The titles are handwritten, and some elements are neither regular, centered nor precise, just as with the irregular stroke of the original CLC in France logo, just as with the spirit of Creation: nothing is straight or square… but it is so beautiful! 1
1 This remark concerns Creation; for the logo, it remains a matter of taste 😉