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    Our CICM Vocation

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    Atkin Timothy Ongoing FormationBy Rex Salvilla, cicm

    Once in a while, we are given a chance to share and discuss some usual CICM topics in a group. These occasions can be the District Recollection, Retreat, preparation for the Provincial Assembly, preparation for the General Chapter, and other occasions where confreres can show their verbal skill. The usual and all too frequent topics are spirituality, community life, simple lifestyle, teamwork, frontier situation, multiculturality, and others embedded in the database of our memory. They may be quickly downloaded from our brains’ hard disk and shared with others through our vocal cords in any group sharing. When I notice these topics, for example, during the preparation of the Provincial Assembly, I could almost volunteer to anticipate and write down the results of the sharing in the Districts with reasonable accuracy. Try it. Supposing, we want to know the stand of the confreres on simple lifestyle. The regular venue would be the District recollection, and the results of the District recollection would be transmitted to a comity that will collate the results of the outcome. Try to anticipate the comity’s final paper by writing it down for each District meeting ahead of time. Your paper will be very similar to the comity’s paper, I guarantee you.

    After all, we have been exposed to so many constructive sharing if only we are persuaded of what we are saying, and if only we are convinced that what we are saying applies to every one of us, and if only we are convinced that we must do what we say. Take the example of the financial situation of our Province. We are all convinced that there is a problem. Are we all convinced that we are part of the solution? Concretely, are we convinced that we have to give our income to the community where we belong? If yes, do we do it? When everything has been said and done, more has been said than done.

    During the April 2011 Provincial Assembly, there was one essential proponent. That element was outright honesty when delegates were asked to identify the causes of the problems plaguing the Province. For example, on the aspect of individual members, the root causes mentioned are individual interest prevails over corporate vision; individualism; individualistic mentality; lack of personal integration; dislodgement of the Vision [of the Province]; and crisis [that led to the split of some members in 2002]. These root causes, I believe, say it all on behalf of the causes of other aspects like Community life, Leadership, Management, Formation, and others.

    In September 2011, there was an extended Provincial Government Meeting where some confreres (like committee chairpersons and District coordinators) were invited to propose concrete actions on all aspects of our lives based on the April 2011 Provincial Assembly result. And we produced another paper. Yes, that is correct, another paper. In fairness to the participants that I was a part of, the sharing was profound and honest, and the result should be implemented.

    Dear confreres, I hate to say it, but we all need to be convinced of our CICM vocation. We must all believe that we are all part of the solution. Our CICM vocation should be continually reinforced through deeds, not just in words. The lack of conviction of our CICM vocation is the real reason why living out of our words is usually tricky or lacking. 

    We can enumerate what can weaken or lead to laxity in our vocation. Perhaps it is the lack of community support, especially when one does not attend CICM gatherings anymore. Perhaps it is the lack of spiritual nourishment when prayers, reflection, and meditation become increasingly rare. Maybe it is the presence of too many projects and activities when confreres cannot relax and recreate anymore. Maybe it is the intrinsic nature of advanced studies. I have noticed that some confreres have lost their CICM vocation during or shortly after specialized studies. Whatever the case may be, we must safeguard, nourish, and be convinced of our CICM Calling.

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