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Province of Europe: Session in Italy

P eventThursday, 07 December 2023

"All I have to do is to be good" Marie Eugénie


Formation in the beauty and care for life in the "Third Age" in the Province of Europe

Each life is a bible written by God and by the human person. How would you write your bible, your Sacred History? It was with this question in mind that the sisters, sages and octogenarians from all over Italy, immersed themselves in a three-day formation course in Rome on the beauty and care of life in the "Third Age", on October 5, 6 and 7, 2023, The longevity of life, if it is to be lived to the full and with joy, calls for us not to sit back and wait for time to pass, or for the bus to come, but to mobilize to find new strategies adapted to age and frailty, so as to remain always "young", happy, always ready to praise and thank the Lord for this marvellous Gift called Life.

St. Marie Eugenie has left us a beautiful legacy and witness, but is it worth asking ourselves what legacy we are leaving future generations? "All I have left is to be good", she liked to say to her sisters in her old age, a quotation so topical and so necessary for us too. Kindness, joy and fraternity are built up day by day, but when strength diminishes and difficulties increase, we feel more in need of care and attention. Father Francesco Citarda, SJ, helped the sisters to understand, through a few biblical texts, how to fully live a personal relationship with the Lord, to praise and thank him in the present day of our lives, to look up and trust in his immense goodness. Can we still give something, and in what way? The human, fraternal and spiritual itinerary that each has lived in her own "sacred history" is a book written with four hands: ours and God's. Sara Naccarato, a well-trained physiotherapist, has awakened our attention: ensuring good physical, nutritional and motor hygiene to enter into a "Culture of Care in Motion"; listening to our bodies and activating them to improve general well-being, through simple and meaningful gestures to be experienced in daily life.

And finally, Professor Casagrande, with her delicate touch, led the group into the culture of care "in harmony" with music and dance, to let ourselves be taken away and marvel at the beauty of creation in and around us. She herself tells us: "The October 7 seminar at the Quadraro Community in Rome was dedicated to harmony. It was a journey together, in the oriental sense of the word, an image of peaceful and gentle coexistence between diversities. Through the mysticism of St. Francis, we immersed ourselves in being One with nature and humanity, and then turned our gaze inward, to being One in harmony of mind, body and soul. Music and dance enabled us to experience this integral harmony, as individuals and as a community. The sisters sang, danced, shared reactions and questions.

In them, I saw openness to the new, inner searching and the joy of the beauty that emanates from art, especially when it's lived and shared. The density of this morning spent together is a Gift that made hearts vibrate and smiles light up. Prospects: to listen and dance a little more each day, and to meet again soon, to share again...

The journey has only just begun, and we still have a long way to go to discover all the wonderful flavors of life, imbued with meaningful words to engrave in our hearts to continue to be, despite worries and age, joyful consecrated women who seek to bear witness to their fidelity to the Lord even in encounters with themselves and others." The essential formation in the Assumption tradition wanted on this occasion to underline this value which we read in the RV at n° 126: "the example of a life which moves towards God in joy, serenity and goodness, is the most convincing word for a society in search of meaning". The culture of care, through listening, movement and harmony, has always been an essential means of re-reading and monitoring our actions, so that we can be joyful witnesses to God's love. This is what inspired the various contributions that delighted all the participants. Sister Carmela Pacenza