By Benoit Chavanne, Volunteer in Chile
“This month our community in Valparaiso discovered how much, in order to give ourselves better to the people we serve –the kids, the families, the elderly who constantly require our attention and energy - we need to go back to the source: to a deep intimate relationship with God.
Our three-day retreat in silence in a Carmelite convent was what our bodies and souls needed so as to better understand the essence of our mission. Our visitor, Father Denis, introduced us to some texts from Pope Francis which shed light in what evangelization really means. Thus, we were surprised to discover that to evangelize does not depend so much on our deeds but on the witness given by our very being. The more we spend time with the Lord in prayer, the more our inner being is transformed by faith. Faith gives us a profound joy which radiates around us and makes others wonder: ‘Why are these people so joyful?’ ‘What is their secret?’ How great was our delight to realize that the Carmelite sisters who welcomed us and whom we had the blessing of spending some time with, were the very incarnation of the Pope’s affirmation! Every single one of them beamed with a radiant smile. These women who are far from everyone, cloistered, living ordinary daily lives …What is their secret?”