Community

Way of Peace: a path of witnesses

 

 “When the Risen Jesus appeared to the disciples in the

cenacle, His first word was ‘Shalom’ (…) On that day,

which is the day that the Lord has made for us,

Jesus gave His disciples access to the way of Peace”

(Letter to the Community)

The Way of Peace is a formative itinerary to all prayer group members who are part of Shalom Work. The itinerary seeks to lead each person from a personal experience with Jesus Christ to the maturity of faith, the holiness of life and to help them to become true witnesses of the Gospel. It uses specific resources and contents.

As the first members of Shalom Catholic Community started to deepen their spiritual life together, following the initial inspiration and charisma of its founder, they were filed with boldness and creativity in announcing Jesus to others. After a personal encounter with the Lord and the experience of His love, something new happened among them. They began to seek more the Lord through prayer, through the sacraments, they began to read more the Bible, to grow in love towards Our Lady and the Church and to get more involved in service of the Church. Their lives started to change in a visible way as grace overflowed.

This experience got deeper and the more they grew in God’s love, the more they wanted to bring others to the same path. It was a path of spiritual conversion which led them to bear witness of Christ and to a new joy in announcing His love and salvation. Soon, those who were once evangelized became evangelizers themselves, bringing more and more people to meet the Risen One who went through the Cross which gives His forgiveness and peace to every man and to all humanity.

It became clear that this path was something inspired by the Holy Spirit and it was open to anyone who would like to go through the same life-changing experience. Soon, it was given a name: “The Way of Peace” and it was structured into specific phases according to the spiritual level of each person. Each phase has its own name, resources and content within five formative areas:

Spiritual: represents the totality of the experience in a prayer group, considering that contemplation in Shalom Charisma is not restricted to a punctual moment of prayer. It comprises the whole relationship with God through personal and communal prayer, bible study, sacramental life, Marian devotion, life of praise, penance, fellowship and service. 

Biblical: the Word of God gives ground to the person’s spiritual path along the journey.

Human: intensifies the experience of brotherhood, the sense of belonging, the life of virtues and the values of the Gospel; it also comprises moments of group sharing and spiritual accompaniment which is a personalized support given privately to each member of a prayer group by the prayer group’s coordinator or a member of his team.

Doctrinal: offers knowledge on the Doctrine of the Church and its teachings which will help the person to know and love the Lord even more and to reach the maturity of faith. 

Missionary: encourages a commitment of life towards the appeal of God; as the person discovers the purpose of his life as intent by the Lord, he will grow in the desire to serve Him and serve the needs of the Church; some may listen to a personal call to become missionaries or to serve God in a specific way or ministry. 

Phases of the Way of Peace 

 

Kerygma

From the Greek “κήρυγμα” which means to announce, to order or preach the Gospel. This phase aims to deepen the experience with the Risen Jesus through the proclamation of God’s love and to encourage the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here, the person is introduced to a loving and close process of knowledge of God and the use of the many gifts that He offers abundantly. The person is encouraged to bear witness of the only Love that is able to fulfil the human heart.

 

Philothea

From the Greek “Φιλó-θεος”, friend of God, devout. This phase seeks spiritual maturity. Formation here aims to help each person to live a life of prayer and to spend more time in prayer. Members of the prayer group are encouraged to lead a sacramental life, to grow in Marian devotion and in a life of praise. The coordinator of the prayer group helps the person to discern a ministry where he can serve the Lord. This ministry must overflow the experience of friendship and intimacy with God.

Metanoia

From the Greek “μετά-νοια”, repentance, penance, change of mind. The goal of this phase is to promote a true conversion to Christ through a free and personal decision. The person who chooses to undergo this change of mentality must embrace the challenges of living the Gospel. It is also called a “second conversion”, one that is more mature, conscious and decisive upon Christ’s way. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mk 8:34).

Koinonia

From the Greek “Κοινωνία”, communion. Conversion overflows in a brotherly life. The disciples of Christ are known for their love: “Without any doubt, this is the only Way of Peace: to live a life dedicated to God and to others” (Moyses Azevedo). The aim of this phase is to promote love among each other through an intense process of conversion and inner healing.

Martyria

From the Greek “μαρτύριο”, witness. This phase aims to form authentic witnesses of Christ and to develop a missionary spirit. For those who are on this phase, it is clear that the only answer to suffering of man in the world is the offering of one’s own life as Jesus did on the Cross. Here, members of the prayer group will learn more about the life of the saints as an authentic following of Jesus Christ.

By Emanuela Cardoso


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