Hiroshima (Photo: Lorenzo Lamonica/Unsplash)

Japan: discovering yourselves as companions

The Spiritual Exercises of the CL Fraternity have just been held for the Japanese community. Sako from Hiroshima and Michiyo from Yokohama recount what they experienced.

We have just finished the Fraternity Exercises held by Fr. Donato from Taiwan. We may be the last country in the world to have listened to them. There are many letters and experiences from people who have been moved by these Exercises, and I have wondered if the expression "something has happened", taken up by Carrón, also happened to us. These Exercises were not a planned event, since a state of emergency was declared in Hiroshima, making it difficult to get together, but they are the result of "living always the real intensely".
I think of all the times that the Tokyo community asked us to meet, and I kept repeating: 'We cannot do it, we cannot do it'. But in the end what I thought was impossible happened. What you could see from everyone's gestures was the desire to participate in the Exercises, but behind this is the fundamental need, the desire to be happy. In other words, by living the real intensely we were able to experience Christ's help, which enabled us to take up the challenge of the online format which seemed so difficult to me. This is exactly the work of Pentecost. For these Exercises, I thought I would organize everything with Marcia, but it was really nice to be able to organize with Francesco and Gabriele. Mariko guided the participants through the online process; Yurie translated the telegram and picture captions and Setsuko talked to various people to encourage them to connect. Thus, I think the awareness of being companions became evident in each of the people who helped and in those who were helped.

Sako, Hiroshima, Japan

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At Pentecost I participated in the Fraternity Exercises in Japan online: "Is There Hope?" These days have helped me a lot to face the difficulties of my daily life. Fr. Donato from Taiwan, the priest who guided us, was of great help. I am very satisfied and have really perceived the importance of the community!
I live alone in Yokohama, where I work, and I can only attend Mass on Sundays. So I do not participate in any community, not even in the movement. Moreover, there is no Christian person around me, even at work. In this situation I always experience a challenge. But this time, while participating in the Exercises, I heard many words that amazed me. Alone, it is very difficult to keep faith. So I feel the need for community. That is why I decided to get in touch with Francesco, an Italian who lives in Tokyo, to start following the School of Community again. This thing happened to me on the day of Pentecost. This means: "we are always in God's hands".

Michiyo, Yokohama, Japan