Our annual Marist Retreat in Adelaide for 2012 - 2013 was led by Fr Paschal Kearney CSSp.
Basics of our Faith Paschal encouraged us to live the spirit of Vatican II. Over the six days he opened up for us the great vitality offered us by those who participated in the Council between 1962 and 1965. He began by inviting us to nominate the four basics of our Catholic faith. He sees his as 1. Commitment to Jesus 2. Communities (unity not uniformity) 3. Eucharist and 4. Spreading the happiness of God.
New Jerusalems Paschal then went on to distinguish between Jesus of Galilee, where He was on the fringes of society and Jesus of Jerusalem where he was seeking to challenge the roots of the power structures. Rome was collaborating with Jerusalem to oppress the poor. Jesus had to bring this out into the open. Paschal asked us 'Where are the Jerusalems of today?' He highlighted how Christianity started as a friendship, a friendship between Jesus and his disciples. Our faith is a friendship with Jesus. Our faith is a life of practical service.
Key Insights for being Vatican II Christians Key insights permeated Paschal's reflections: Our God is endless communication. Jesus had close friends. Jesus appeared as a non conformist. Jesus asked his disciples not to have titles. Thinking adults know that control is not the answer. The answer is trust. Community needs to be life giving. There is only one priesthood - we all share in it - as ordained or ordinary Christians. Jesus never had a concept of a legalistic God. At the time of Jesus, the Trinity was an experience not a doctrine.
New Books Paschal recommended two books:
Jesus an historical approximation by Jose Pagola and
A virtuous Church by Kevin Seasoltz (Orbis)
Summary of our Retreat Learnings Paschal invited us, as a result of our time together, to commit to endeavouring to:
1. be inspired by the beauty of God,
2. appreciate God's deep compassion for us,
3. recognise when God is breaking into our lives,
4. right injustice wherever and whenever we can,
5. go, with Mary, to 'a new land'.
Website Paschal contributes to a website at http://cyber-christian-community-wa-inc.org.au/