ASIA/CHINA - The Bishop of Xiamen: together with Mary Immaculate to welcome Jesus and experience the work of the Holy Spirit

Thursday, 7 December 2023

Xiamen (Agenzia Fides) - "Welcoming Jesus together with Mary" was the theme of the spiritual exercises before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, attended by around dozens of lay Catholics, mainly active in the apostolic work of the Diocese of Xiamen, in the coastal province of Fujian. Bishop Joseph Cai Bingrui of Xiamen invited everyone to live in prayer and community the season of Advent, which extends from the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to Christmas and the birth of Jesus. “Let us learn to open our hearts in silence and present our hearts before God as they are” in order to “gradually experience the love of God and feel the power of the Holy Spirit.” During the days of the retreat, the bishop reflected on the so-called "4 silences" (the heart, the eyes, the mouth and the ear). The 4-day retreat took place in the diocesan educational center “Rosary Village”. The seventy or so lay members were also able to experience together moments of prayer and spiritual reflection around the Gospel accounts of the Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, Christmas and the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, thanks to the contribution of Priest Chen Tongchun (who has a doctorate in Sacred Scripture). Sisters and priests from the “Rosary Village” accompanied the spiritual journey of the laity over the four days, which also included the celebration of the Eucharist, the recitation of the Rosary, the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Confession. The retreat was therefore a time of conversion for the participants, which should be experienced in their own daily lives, with the wish that other people may also encounter the infinite mercy of Christ with gratitude in the witness and change of the life they live in the world. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 7/12/2023)