After two long years marked by the pandemic, the Washington DC Emmanuel Community members, together with those from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania gathered in Philadelphia for a 2 days retreat. Fr. Phillippe Vigneron, the newly arrived Director of the Emmanuel School of Mission New York, guided the retreat in honor of the mercy of God.
Being reunited together and praying for the brothers and sisters who could not attend, especially for the sick members, was a joy and an outpouring of grace and gratitude.
Laure: “Mercy seems like a lavish rain, pouring on the memories from the past, on myself and on others, on my sins and my sufferings from the sins of others. I know mercy doesn’t come from me: the Lord makes it happen, all I can do is open my heart, receive His grace and praise Him for His gifts.” This beautiful quote is part of a personal testimony given during the Mercy Night event at Saint Anthony of Padua Church and it could not describe more beautifully the graces we received over the weekend.
In the final teaching Valens and Juliette reminded us that “ As members of the Community we are called to be “Apostles of the love of God and witnesses of His mercy”, which means translating our acts according to the works of mercy indicated by Pope Francis and become a source of reconciliation, hope, evangelization and an artisan of peace. The members of the Emmanuel Community proclaim, in word and deed, the love which God has for all people and His mercy towards sinners. This mercy, shown by the death of Christ and by His pierced Heart (cf. Jn 19:34) makes the Community particularly close to the message of Paray-le-Monial: ‘Behold this Heart which has so much loved the world’.”
“Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.
Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.
Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.
Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”
Like a lavish rain, the grace of praise, celebrating mass, adoration, praying together reinvigorated us like a long awaited rainfall after a drought; like the resurrection and the redeeming mercy of God followed the pain for the agony and the death of Jesus. Alleluia! Alleluia!
By Stefania Rawson