Dear Members of the Federal Association,
As we all know, the Holy Father has designated a Year of Mercy to begin on December 8, 2015.
The members of the Spirituality Committee believe that this would be an ideal time for Members of the Federal Association to join together in reflecting on the meaning of this Year of Mercy, especially its meaning for the Order of Malta.
We know that in most of our regions, Members gather regularly – sometimes in parishes, sometimes region-wide, sometimes in other settings. We would encourage those groups to use at least some of these times to reflect together on the Year of Mercy. Even if only part of a meeting can be devoted to such reflection – say, a half hour – this would help unite Members with each other and with the Holy Father. We think it might also show how powerful group reflection and prayer can be.
The committee will be producing a package of materials that can be used by any group. It includes a format, scripture and other reflection materials, and suggested discussion questions. We will distribute electronically six such sets. Although each group that participates may set its own schedule and have as many reflection sessions as it wishes, one suggested approach would be to start in October and November of 2015, to prepare and then begin the year, resume in February (for Lent) and March (for Easter), then continue in September and October of 2016. Topics will include God’s mercy to us, the special meaning of mercy for Members of the Order, the mercy of penance and reconciliation, and the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
We wanted to alert you to the availability of these materials, and ask that you inform parish and other groups in your region about them as well, so that any group wishing to build these reflection times into its meetings can plan its year accordingly.
Below are materials for the first two meetings, along with a group calendar reflection: