At the International Congress of Volunteers of God, which took place July 16 and 17, 2022, we had the participation of the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and the Volunteers of God from different parts of the world.
On the first day, our dear Oblates, jealous guardians of the meaning of the spirituality of the 5 attitudes of life and of the charity of Christ, reminded us of what it was like to know and be close to the founder, Father Louis-Marie Parent, and spoke to us about each of the 5 attitudes of life.
Simone Huneault began the Congress by thanking God for having given us the gift of the presence of the founder, Father Louis-Marie Parent, a very special branch of the Lord's vine, and for having called him to proclaim the charity of Christ at all times and in all places, through the living of the 5 attitudes of life and acts of love towards others.
Pierrette Fortin presented the personality of Father Louis-Marie Parent, emphasizing that he was a man of faith, very close to the people, endowed with a notable apostolic fervour and an extraordinary gift of the word.
Réjeanne Allard spoke about the first attitude of life, the presence of God in the present moment, insisting that this presence is noticeable at every moment and in every place of creation and that we must constantly give thanks for God's creative work.
Lina Lagacé reflected on the attitude of life that refers to the absence of destructive inner and outer criticism, reminding us that we must see our neighbour with the eyes of the heart and leave aside negative criticism. She invited us to free our hearts from that which prevents love from taking root in us and to acquire a positive outlook of love and compassion for all.
Aline Morency spoke about the absence of useless inner and outer complaints, an attitude which, like those mentioned above, is a gift from God. She indicated that living this attitude allows us to develop a humble and understanding look towards others and that, consequently, it helps us to effectively fulfill the commandment of love: "Love God and thy neighbour as thyself.”
María Elena Perdomo elaborated on the attitude of being of service, reminding us that it is necessary to serve with humanity. She also reminded us that Father Parent used to say, recalling the words of Christ, that every time we do service to others, we are serving God.
Rose Mathieu reflected on the attitude called peacemaker, pointing out that peace is the gift of God, the ripe fruit that produces love. She reminded us that in this sense, peace is the life of God incorporated into the being of the person.
Oblate Flor Acuña concluded the day with a reflection on the need to live the presence of God at all times, especially in times of weakness, when doubts, fears and fatigue easily arise. It is then that we must live the presence of God with greater strength.
There is no doubt that the active role played by the Oblates who have accompanied and continue to accompany the groups of Volunteers of God in the heart of the world has left an invaluable imprint and a seed of love on our spirituality centred on the presence of God and the charity of Christ.
Esther Acuña Rios
Leader of the Volunteers of God