Community July 19
There should be an atmosphere of ease and naturalness in our communities (Const. 19.9).
There used to be another way of living in community. Silence dominated the day and the night. Conformity was a virtue: the religious habit didn’t admit of personal styles; everybody marched to the same rhythm of community activities; behavior was to be standard and predictable. A certain rigidity was canonized as true religious observance: a rarely changing schedule; a liturgy scrupulously conducted according to the rubrics; Constitutions determining the smallest details of daily life. With the Second Vatican Council, religious life sought renewal by a return to the inspiration of the founder. For the Crosiers, it was a pilgrimage to Clairlieu, the initial foundation by Blessed Theodore and his companions. What was their inspiration? They sought a simplicity of life more faithful to the mystery of the Cross, a space of liturgical prayer most festive and contemplative, a manner of living as brothers more reflective of the dynamism of the Acts of the Apostles, a service to the world more flexible to its needs. In effect, they wanted to be a Gospel “place of light,” a project of life clarifying the sense of human existence. The first Crosiers looked for a place to be profoundly human in the search of God. That is the inspiration for the freedom and naturalness in Crosier community life. The Brothers of the Holy Cross in search of God are better served by the humanization of the charism rather than by its institutionalization.
The lion roars, the bird sings. Of the two, which do you prefer? (Lokele)