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Ah… the house is full again…
29/03/2011 Uruguay

That was the expression my mother used when, for one reason or the other, the house where she most recently lived alone filled up with guests or relatives on the occasion of her birthday, or a feast or because my friends came to see me when I was home for a vacation in Italy.

That expression came to my mind and heart when the experience of a house of discernment began again in Uruguay. The three youths arrived and in a few hours, voices, laughter, luggage and packages and a variety of music filled the house. You could hear them speaking among themselves trying to agree on how to organize their room in which there was just a bed for each one. They also accepted with humor the problems of limited space, they who until a few hours before had a room all for themselves. I seemed to be hearing the experience of the first Oblates on that far off January 25, 1816: their laughter and their joy at being together.

For a few weeks already, Fr. Marcos RIVAROLA and I had been living together in the house which in recent years had been a place where we Oblates would come back simply to sleep at night or spend a few brief moments during the day. For us here in Uruguay, the experience of a vocation house, a place where one can go through a discernment process, has not been a regular thing. Our secularized society does not encourage vocational discernment. But at the same time, this climate helps us in discerning the motivations of whoever begins this journey of community life.

Fernando, Aníbal and Agustin are the three young men who this year have begun this journey. Together with Fr. Marcos (the director of the house) and with me, we will try to watch and discern what God wishes to say to the heart of these young men, and help them realize in their lives the words of Eugene which they themselves have chosen: “Let them be burning candles and not smoldering wicks.” (Fr. Mingo DI MEO)