Sunday 31 January 2016

Lessons from the Year of Consecrated Life

What have we learnt from this year dedicated to Consecrated life?

Certainly, that CL cannot be lived in an individual key, but together. We are community, and community expands in concentric circles: our local community, our congregation perhaps, other institutes, the church, monks of other denominations and even religions, as the Pope explicitly mentions in his first letter, and all people finally. Cardinal Braz is strong on fraternity as rooted in Trinity - our deepest truth.

That, nonetheless, individuality and diversity remain and are to be celebrated! Even though we are called to follow Jesus in his very form of life, we do not become carbon copies of him. Peter was not Paul, and not John; Albert is not Thomas, and Francis is not Ignatius. The Lord is deeper to me than my deepest, and I am called to that kind of "being knit" - like the soul of Jonathan knit to the soul of David - and yet I do not lose my individuality. Much less do I become a carbon copy of Don Bosco.

That we are called to joy! That is the meaning of living already now the life of the resurrection. "Like the angels in heaven, neither marrying nor giving in marriage - because completely filled with God." Virginity, the deepest truth of the human body. Difficult to understand, even more difficult to accept, in the face of the overwhelming truth of the demands and imperatives of the body - and yet, in the end, this direction, this truth, which Jesus incarnates. With fascination. With glory.

That ongoing formation is the mother-idea of formation, and not something that "comes after" initial formation.

That contemplation is a way of life, and not something that we do - or that happens - only in private moments.

That beauty is a way to God. That God is Beauty. 

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