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A course to Novices on Spirituality and Sexuality
There is much joy in bearing fruit in our lives. This is the desire of our Lord who said, “Remain united to me and you will bear much fruit” (see John 15:4-5).
This week, James McTavish, a Verbum Dei missionary based in Manila, gave an on-line Zoom course titled “Be fruitful!” The course was for 15 hours (3 hours per day) on Spirituality and Sexuality. The course was given to the Exodus group. Exodus is an inter-congregational formation program for young religious men and women (novices). The international group was composed of 60 novices (from Philippines, Vietnam, Malawi, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Congo and other countries) from 18 different Congregations.
The content of the course looked at foundational elements of human sexuality (it is a gift and the complementarity of the sexes), consecrated chastity (intimacy with God, boundaries etc.) as well as apostolic concerns including the dangers of internet pornography, gender (gender dysphoria, gender roles and gender identity confusion) and same sex attraction.
Cecilia Teo, a Verbum Dei misionera, was also invited to give an input on consecrated chastity. Sr Ceci covered aspects such as the meaning of chastity, loneliness and how to deal with it, as well as growing in healthy friendships. The novices said they were enriched also listening to her feminine perspective!
It was great to see so many young religious, at the beginning of their vocation, taking the call of God seriously. Writing to the youth, Pope Francis underlined “we need to remember that God created us as sexual beings. He himself ‘created sexuality, which is a marvelous gift to his creatures’” (Christus vivit, n. 261). St James wrote that “all good gifts come from God above” (James 1:17).
We too can give thanks to God for our sexuality, as a wonderful gift of being able to share life and love to the world of today. Let us ask the Holy Spirit that we can all live to the maximum the gift of life and love to the fullest, and to be fruitful in the world of today!
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