Today, in Spain, the funeral of the most influential person in my spirituality and vocation took place: Jaime Bonet Bonet, the founder of the Verbum Dei Community; which I belong to since 1984He had been unwell, on and off, for a while, so in one way it was no surprise. And There are a lot of tributes for his life, such as this one: Video on the occasion of the death of Jaime Bonet And I find myself reflecting on just how much this one person, with his gifts and shadows, like each and every one of us, has affected the lives of so many. Along with the founding generation of strong “Mallorquina” women, this man received, accepted and transmitted a particular way of accessing the experience of God’s love; and a particular way of opening space, enabling, teaching, he would say, others how to know God, how to pray. It has touched so many, including me. For that I am deeply grateful. My memory is working overtime – to all the encounters and exhortations; the conversations and confessions, the moments of inspiration and envisioning, when I agreed, or disagreed, or threw myself into something, eyes wide closed, because I trusted him so implicitly. Right now I find myself catching echoes of his voice, his way of seeing things, in how I teach and work: lights I thought “my special own”. I had forgotten that most of how I experience God was mediated through his own life and faith:
a loving Triune God who dwells within
a suffering crucified God in whom we dwell
the unparalleled intimacy of a God-made-bread, and that Woman of God who lets us in the back door. Again. To the grace of God's mercy.
As I reflect, I have found myself talking to you, Jaime, so I guess we needed to talk. And I shall say three things (which I know you hear with the same certitude you taught us to have as we converse with God simply and truthfully). Thank you. I am deeply grateful. For the way you dialogued with God, for the vision you had about women, and men, in the church; for the passion I caught from you, and the way we both knew that I “got” this charism, which always was your most treasured child. I'm sorry...for not being closer - as fiercely independent as you were, perhaps - and for judging you harshly, at times, in my relentless quest to move forward. But I hope you know I learnt the lesson well: “todo para la mayor eficacia en la misión” (everything towards the greater efficacy in the mission). And pray for us and with us, now that you are closer to the Source, that we may become what we were meant to be. That this small, amazingly rich charism and community may bear the fruit you felt it should, and could.
Si Dios quiere…