What does Cursillo say about transforming communities?

The goal of Cursillo is transformation.

Personal transformation - People transformed by the grace of God

Community transformation - A world transformed by the coming of God’s kingdom

God calls us to be apostles, sent to share in his mission to the world, working within the settings of our daily lives, like the yeast in the dough, until they are leavened all through with the gospel.

When the transforming power of Christ is at work in individuals and in groups of people, this can lead to a transformation of communities.

Note: the term ‘environments’ in Cursillo means the circumstances, groups of people and communities in which we come into contact, and which we can influence with the gospel.

 

Key points:

Getting to know our environments

  • If we are to be effective in bringing about change, we need to know and understand the situation and the people in it. In other words, we need to study our environments.
  • This can mean working at getting to know the people we work with or those in the same sports club, etc.
  • We may need to understand the pressures which affect the situation: what expectations of performance does the manager have to contend with? Are there the resources to do the job? Are there external pressures on individuals: financial, health, relationship worries?
  • Do people feel affirmed, valued and respected? Do their ideas about improving things count?
  • What mindset do people have? Are they resigned to things carrying on in the same old way? Are they happy with how things are? Do we have allies in our desire for change? How might we work together?

 

Getting going on changing our environments

  • Big things happen step by step: first one step, then another. Do nothing, and nothing changes!
  • Perseverance is needed. It may take time to see some fruit, and there may be obstacles and setbacks.
  • Pray ourselves about the situation and seek the prayer support and encouragement of others.
  • A group of people sharing the same goal is more effective than one person working alone. We should try to find others in the situation who share our vision or who can be brought to share it.
  • If we are working on God’s agenda of love, security, justice, peace, reconciliation, wholeness and well-being, he will be working with us!

 

Below are two personal accounts of all of this at work:

‘When I was at work, my conscience made me distinctly uncomfortable about getting involved in office gossip which quite often developed a spiteful and vulgar tone to it.

Though I have to admit I was no saint in this area, I tried to keep out of it, and as a result was eventually able to share my Christian values with a couple of colleagues who felt the same way.’

 

‘I was bought up in the church, but rebelled in my teens. It wasn’t until well into my 30’s that I came back to faith. I am now trying to bring others to Christ through action, by reaching out on the estate that I grew up in. I go to the youth club and talk to the young people that have no role-model to look up to. We talk about issues like knives, etc and always end up talking about Jesus and the impact that He has had in my life – I then hand out copies of ‘The Living Light’ (a daily Bible reflection publication). As a result of my efforts I am beginning to see positive outcomes. Two of the children told me last week that, as a result of my words they are turning from a life of crime, one even said that he wants to be like Jesus.

I am feeling quite chuffed at the change Jesus is beginning to make in those two kids lives’.

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