Anastasia Wio, the provincial prefect of formation of East Asia province in coordination with Amilbia Penagos, the general prefect of formation, organized a formation workshop on “integral human growth” which took place from 27 July to 11 December this year.
The workshop was attended by 28 junior sisters from the province of Asia and four junior sisters from the province of Africa living in Nigeria. There were times that some of the superiors accompanying us and joined the workshop.
In the depth of our hearts, there are thousands of gratitudes rendered for this opportunity which helped us to journey to the depth of heart and encountering “the real me/we.”
It is truly necessary for each person to make a journey to the depth of his/her heart, a journey that has no end, as it is written in our constitutions “formation must be progressive, integral and continuous for a greater effectiveness of our life and mission in the Church, and it will be carried out in different stages” (const. 73). In a journey to the depths of the person, there are many goodness and wisdom to be discovered and also aspects to be improved, we have been invited to this journey with simplicity, patience and fidelity in order to continue to grow and live the moment with serenity.
We are so much blessed that we were given an opportunity to participate in this “Human Formation” workshop in which we journeyed back to ourselves, to our inner being as a journey to the unknown self.
A journey into the inner, unknown self is a great challenge, however, it has opened the door and led us to a better understanding of ourselves and how we react and respond to others, in personal or professional relationship.
This journey will only happen if a person is willing to embrace themselves, and their past without blaming anyone else, no matter how hard it may be or how painful it may be, it will simply flow like a river or a sea that continues to flow even sometimes noisily.
Yet, we do not say that we have come to know ourselves better now, but we could say that we are on the journey of knowing ourselves more and better, especially the inner self, the self where God’s lights, gifts and graces dwell, but where also affections and disordered passions occupy a space. (Const. 3) We quoted: “Our Institute also needs daughters stripped of all their affections and disordered passions, so that they may follow in the footsteps of Christ, our highest good (cf. Cons. n. 3)”. Through this experience we have been able to name our own disordered affections and passions in which we are invited to change and let ourselves be transformed.
Throughout this program, we have realized that our past history contributes greatly to our present reactions and emotions, whether positive or negative. Therefore, each one of us is responsible for reconciling with our past in order to live a better present and future, accepting our history as a gift from God.
With the four keys to reading the personality, we realized that the best place to dwell is in our “deep self”, where we can talk to our inner child, discern what is right, integrate, live harmoniously in favorable or unfavorable situation.
As a matter of fact, to have a good personality is to be a master of ourself, our emotions and actions, and being responsible for each of them. We must see our life situations as a gift from God, trust in Him, love ourselves and be a master of ourselves.
Finally, to be human is to be who we are; to live in truth in order to act with inner freedom towards oneself, and towards others…. Growth exists when there is acceptance and love of self. It would be good to remind ourselves from time to time that “never stop learning, because once we stop learning – we stop growing”. Growing to be human is indeed a lifelong journey that needs commitment, responsibility and patience. We thank you all and may God bless us on our journey.
Silvia Luzinha da Conceicao, Judith Kihla, Emiliana Ndung