OCDS Provincial Meeting: Commissariat of Sicily

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Father Agustí Borrell, OCD, Vicar General, held a conference on September 23, 2018, in Mount Carmel – Loco Monaco, Sicily, for the Secular Order. It was titled, “The Beatitudes: Day-to-day holiness by the light of Gaudete et Exultate.” Participants included members of the 15 OCDS communities of the Commissariat of Sicily and those interested in Carmel. Father Augustí proposed a series of reflections on the universal call to sanctity, which is the subject of Pope Francis’s exhortation “Gaudete et Exultate.” The Vicar General emphasized the responsibility associated with the gift of holiness that God offers every Christian: to incorporate oneself by means of baptism into the dimension of being a child of God, holy and beloved; that means to own the responsibility of caring for and increasing the holiness received as a gift, living out the discipleship of Jesus in a coherent and creative way. Along these lines, he brought to mind the specific role of Carmel, a school of holiness within the Church, and its great contribution to her with numerous and great saints that have flourished in the Order. The Beatitudes, affirmed Father Vicar General, are an genuine clue to track down the footsteps of Christ in the life of every person. They are the way to follow Jesus, an invitation to happiness, Father Agustí recalled, as Pope Francis indicated in his exhortation. He also highlighted how the act of following Jesus is completely outlined in the constitutions of the OCDS, since they call Secular Carmelites to commit to making the Beatitudes the standard for their choices in life and individual path of spiritual growth. Lastly, the Vicar recalled that the fundamental elements of the vocation of a Carmelite layperson are also prayer, service, and the communal aspect which is rooted in charity.

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