Community July 14
Our community, however, will realize this prophetic function only when fellowship and true brotherly love define our lives (Const. 15.3).
How shameful to be discovered as a hypocrite! Actions do not correspond with words. Behavior contradicts commitment. The hypocrite mocks the other people around. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites because you clean the outside of the cup and dish while inside they are full of plunder and intemperance” (Mt 23:25). Hypocrisy can infect a religious community. The shell—buildings well built and signed by the Cross, actions of prayer, structures for living, ministerial outreach—could mask an interior life of moral disorder, ritualism, interpersonal coldness and self-serving service. Everything becomes a fraud: the community walks around disguised in signs of exterior consecration, but without contributing to the advancement of the Kingdom. Such misconduct, often historically connected with the practice of poverty, is not a stranger to Crosier life, particularly in the 15th and 19th centuries. The Order can never repeat such scandals of hypocrisy again. To avoid them, there must be an ongoing serious communal practice of examining the interior life of the community. Such an examination should include careful attention to two groups: those who are the happy beneficiaries of an authentic witness on our part and those who are the duped victims of our fraud.
Leopard skin is beautiful; but inside it there is war. (Luba)