Reading: Chapter 4 and 5 This week we explore two full chapters! In chapter 4 we explore our role as agents of social change and in chapter 5 we are called to a celebration of life. In keeping with the earlier chapters, these two are challenging to digest, but I think we will find it well worth the effort. 1) To begin with, Henri calls us to be agents of social change - to take an honest look at the problems and injustices within the systems that govern our society, and facilitate change. a) What is your initial reaction to this call? Does it naturally excite you or would you consider it more of a discipline? b) Do you think all people are called to be agents of social change, or does it depend on individual talents/ gifts/ personality types? c) Can you share a specific example - an inspiring true story of regular people who came together under the stirrings of the Holy Spirit to work for a larger societal change? 2) Henri then duly warns us of possible pitfalls in this process, and encourages us with proper perspectives. a) Can you relate to the three pitfalls Henri describes, concretism, power and pride? Have you seen them play out in yourself personally or in a project you've been a part of? b) Similarly, have you seen the healthy perspectives of hope, receptivity and shared responsibility demonstrated in work for social change? 3) Chapter 5 almost seems in contradiction to chapter 4, but they most certainly must be in balance for either to truly bloom in our lives. Henri calls us to celebration. He explains that celebration is "the acceptance of life in a constantly increasing awareness of its preciousness. And life is precious not only because it can been seen, touched, and tasted, but also because it will be gone one day" (p 97). a) Have you ever known a person or a family who was living something very difficult - poverty, deep loss or severe illness, yet they seemed to be able to celebrate life? 4) Henri then gives us some specific tools that we can explore as we seek to learn to be people who celebrate, and lead others in the act of celebration. a) First of all, we are invited to affirm the present moment. What do you think this means? Have you experimented with this in your own life? What does it look like? b) Next we are asked to remember our past. Have you experienced how when forgiveness is asked for personal or collective history, true life, freedom and celebration can flow? c) Finally, celebration is filled with expectations for the future. What basis do we have for such hopeful expectation? I feel that each of these questions could have a lot of sub questions. I invite you to discover the idea that stood out to you, and really explore it! You can also feel free to put your own question out to the group.