10 de Março de 2012
servos da terra

12 (2)

Aos Grupos da Terra:

MA, PI, CE, PE, AL, BA, MG, ES, Marseilles, Londres e Estados Unidos

“Sem mim nada podeis fazer.”

(Jo 15, 5)

A realidade mais profunda que nós experimentamos é que nós nos modificamos com o passar dos anos, positiva ou negativamente falando. Contudo, um núcleo em nós é constante. Nós nunca somos os mesmos de tudo o que fomos antes. Existe algo em nós que está em constante mutação e que, nesta condição, pode levar a avanços progressiva e positivamente, bem como a regressões profundas, nunca imagináveis antes. A questão está na forma como tu hás de encarar determinados acontecimentos que podem te levar a superações internas ou externas. Isso pode levar a um consequente crescimento ou a evidências de algum registro no qual queiras te fixar e aí permanecer petrificado, como se à imagem daquele fato estivesses tu colado e não quisesses ou pudesses dali sair e não te permitisses, tampouco, progredir.

As mudanças mais profundas que acontecem no teu coração, com implicações em tua realização, participam de um processo de maturação, conhecimento da verdade que te constituiu e te fez ser como os fatos o têm mostrado. Há de chegar, então, o momento em que não se encontrará mais espaço para a pertinência dos limites nos quais até então tens estado. Aí, dar-se-á um salto. Mudanças profundas assim outros já experimentaram, podendo viver e participar de uma realidade que traz a marca constante de ser em si mesma insuficiente. A falta estará, em qualquer realidade, presente. Superações, portanto, hão de ser a necessidade, para que se revele o  traço seu mais permanente.

A realidade mais profunda que nós experimentamos é que nós nos modificamos com o passar dos anos, positiva ou negativamente falando, como já dissemos anteriormente. Mas como em toda culminância há um declínio ou crescimento antecedente, mudando-se a dinâmica, permanece a marca dos avanços ou recuos na realidade basilar, esta estrutural, através dos tempos.

Pe. Airton Freire

10 de Março de 2012
servos da terra

12 (2)

Dear Friends in Christ,

We hope that your recent experience at Father Airton Friere’s retreat deepened your relationship with Christ and brought you inspiration to live His example in your everyday life.

We would like to share with you a very beautiful movement that others like you who attended a retreat with Father Airton have brought into being.  Moved by the Spirit to continue their own spiritual journeys in Jesus’ footsteps, many people in various countries across the globe have formed Grupos de Terra, or Earth Groups inspired by the work of Fundacao Terra.  These Earth Groups have been formed in Brazil, the United States, England and France and are dedicated to providing those who wish to continue to develop their relationship with Christ the opportunity to serve others in their own communities.

By uniting with others focused on the mercy of Christ, the members of the Earth Groups discuss the Word of God twice a month with each other and develop projects to help the less fortunate in their own communities.  By meeting the needs and seeing the potential of their brothers and sisters,  members of the Earth Groups are experiencing God each day as He reveals Himself to them through His Word and His mercy in the world.

If you are interested in learning more about an Earth Group in your area or in the possibility of starting an Earth Group where you live, please contact us for more information.  If your support of Fundacao Terra at this time would be more appropriately made through a monetary contribution, your gift will be most appreciated and used to shine light on His presence in our world.

9 de Março de 2012
servos da terra

12 (2)

“We, Groups of the Earth, shall only be acknowledged after we are known. And we will only be known after we exist. We shall only be acknowledged when we are; when we reveal the Face of Christ.”

(Father Airton Freire at the III Retreat of the Earth Groups, Arcoverde (PE), on Jan 9th 2009)

 

Why the name Earth Groups?

Because we are those who try to do on Earth the will of the Father who is in Heaven. We are planting what other generations will care for. May our spirituality cover milennia. And this shall happen if it is established in Christ. Like the eagle’s, your youth shall be renewed (Psalms 103,5). What is our spirituality? A sign of God’s merciful love in the world, in its multiple forms, such is our spirituality. This is our identity and, through it, we shall be known. In the spirituality of the Earth Groups, we must keep our feet on the ground and our eyes turned towards heaven. We must practice faithfulness in little things. This belongs to our spirituality. We are tested so as to be approved. My good servant! Since you have proved yourself trustworthy in a small matter, I can trust you to take charge of ten cities (Luke 19,17). Transparency, collegiality, and efficiency: these three points sustain our spirituality. Earth Groups should never lack the following: spirituality, an adequate teaching and a task project.

Why are we here?

We are here to serve, and this gives meaning and reason to our existence. Because in Christ we are reconciled, we are servants of the Divine Mercy, servants through love and any action we carry out in the world shall express the genesis of our unity and identity. Our life is in fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1,3), starting point of our union with one another. United to one another through one Lord, one faith, one Baptism (Ephesians 4,5), we shall give the world a testimony of unity (read more in “A Servant’s spirituality is the Earth Groups’ spirituality”, part I).  We need to know the root of our motivation. Motivation is the primary cause, and reason is the secondary cause. Motive and motivation are two different things. Either I am, truly serving God, or I am showing off. Do not forget that, every time you give in to your own will, you change your route and direction.

What about our charisma?

To reveal the Father, as Christ revealed Him to us, according to the needs of time. Our charisma consists in revealing the Father as Christ revealed Him — and for each group member this means living the unity of the charisma while sharing the talents each one has received — being aware of the needs of the time, wherever we are  in this world, a world from which we receive so many demands. These appeals reach us in our different states of life: laic, religious, or consecrated. From each one, according to their possibilities and specificities; to each one, according to their needs; in doing this, although we are many we shall be one and in all, the Father shall be glorified. We have different missions, but only one charisma. Earth Groups are simply putting in practice what is already being suggested by the Church as a whole (read more in “A Servant’s spirituality is the Earth Groups’ spirituality”, part III).

What about our mystics?

That is: to live in accordance with our life model, Jesus Christ, a poor and humble servant. What characterizes us is following Christ in simplicity of life. You must sanctify the holy name that is in you. To do this you need a time of silence, a time of prayer. You need the sacrament of reconciliation. At least weekly you must take part in the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist. You need to have a personal and sacramental life in harmony with your state of life in order to recompose the unity that was lost (read more in “A Servant’s spirituality is the Earth Groups’ spirituality”, part I). If you have this desire to restore your inner unity, that is because, you are aware that without unity you cannot live. Unity between heart and mind gives you balance. We come, therefore, to our first point: to recompose your internal unity. The second point: you are God’s belonging and the areas in you that are stained by sin need to be transformed, as a condition for you to live the fullness of Truth, He who consecrated himself  for you. “May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you” (John 17,22). This is the third point concerning unity which must be present among us, as Earth Groups.

And how will our praxis unfold?

Through announcement, dialogue, testimony, and service. Serve to announce; announce to serve. Between them we find dialogue (διαλογος) with the Word and with the world, and only in this way can we bear witness (μαρτυρειν). Unity, both internal and external, I again must stress. Whatever our work may be, we must reveal God’s Merciful Face. We are servants of Mercy, brothers and sisters of Holy Hope. We are builders of hope. The world needs testimony of the kind we can give. May the world see the reasons for our joy and for our hope. Feed hope, flee illusion. What you have started to do is not essential, but that you work, primarily, on your being. You must be, only then will you be able to witness. The world must perceive you as an integrated being. May the Merciful Face be revealed in you. In unity you shall be whole, undivided, and His Face shall be reflected all around you. Be aware therefore, that your actions will favor or disfavor your consecration to the Truth. Actions in disagreement with Truth shall be responsible for great sufferings, both for you personally and for the whole Body of Christ, to which you belong sacramentally (see Colossians 3,3-4). Effective love is love in visible, concrete action. Your credibility stems from the fact that your deeds reveal the love you declare having towards your beloved God.

Be the guardian of the sacredness of your soul. As seasons go by, you may have to undergo some pruning, you may have to suffer, but the fruit shall be worth the pain there is in waiting. You must be willing to seek this. This shall be your first mission, a mission of love: live up to the fullness of Truth, He who was consecrated himself for you. And for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth, said the Lord (John 17,19). And if some day, someone asks us what is our spirituality, what is our charisma, what is our mission? We shall reply: our spirituality is the one that comes from Jesus Christ’s pierced heart; it is the one that gives testimony through water, blood, and Spirit (see 1 John 5,8). The three agree to witness the Truth which is the Lord Jesus himself. We are servants of God’s mercy, through a way of living, a way of being, living in communion with the Father and the Son, in the Spirit, in the Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et Apostolicam Church which the Lord founded (read more in “A Servant’s spirituality is the Earth Groups’ spirituality”, part IV). In the world we are called to witness Truth, that is, Christ Jesus (see John 14,6), in our different states of life — religious, laic, and consecrated —, all of us living for the same purpose, following the model and the will of the Lord, aiming towards holiness in Truth (see John 17,17). Because of this, in any situation, we remain in His love (see 1 John 4,16), guiding our conduct by an ethics of alterity (read more in “A Servant’s spirituality is the Earth Groups’ spirituality”, part V).

Therefore, all Groups of the Earth Must Show:

Concerning Spirituality

* Devotion to the Divine Mercy: “A great devotion to the Divine Mercy. A great love for the Divine Mercy. This was determined for the Church as a whole and we have particularly taken to heart this devotion through the document ‘Dives in Misericordia’, by John Paul II”. Therefore, in all of our meetings the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy should be prayed.
* Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: “May we set apart a moment in which we gather together to adore the Lord Jesus”. So, the members of each group should gather, once a month, in prayer of Adoration.
* Presence of the Celtic Cross in the Meetings: “I would ask you to always have our cross, the Celtic Cross present in your meetings. It symbolizes the universality of our faith”. Earth Groups are invited to meet every week or every 15 days.

Sharing of Bread. Sharing of the Word

* Sharing of Bread: Earth groups should have moments of prayer in the meetings and — while sharing bread, the fruit of human labor — share as well their personal experiences, so that everyone will be united with the personal life of group members.
* Study and Sharing of the Word: Earth groups are invited to grow in the knowledge of the Word, by sharing their personal understanding and reading of biblical texts, the study of texts, books and/or CDs of  Servant Minor, Father Airton Freire.

Concerning Brotherly Fellowship

* Visitation Among Groups: Earth Groups should, each month, visit one another, to share Bread and/or to share the Word.
* Earth Groups Participation as one Body: Groups should be present during special events, masses, retreats, adorations, and Earth Groups’ study meetings. Concerning Service
* Social and/or Spiritual Action: It is vitally important that each Group of the Earth organize a social and/or spiritual action for the needy.

Admittance, Exit, and Permanence of Earth Group Members

* Admittance: This will happen through indication by a member of the group (“ad experimentum”). After the indication, the name will be voted on (secret vote), and admittance to the group may or may not be approved. After a period of trial of three months, another secret vote takes place, so that the new member(s) can become effective members of the group. These two steps should take place during Lent and/or Advent.
* Exit/Permanence: All members must vote (through secret vote) and be voted on, so as to decide who will or will not stay in the group. This is to ensure that groups are constituted by committed members, since not all members “can be present at all meetings as they wish”. One must have special commitment to the group. This election should take place during Lent and/or Advent.

Multimídia Terra


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