|Table of Contents | Words: Alphabetical - Frequency - Inverse - Length - Statistics | Help | IntraText Library|
|P. Fabio Ciardi, OMI|
Consecrated life, “school of communion”…
IntraText CT - Text
3. Clarification of roles
The presence of laity leads to a re-thinking of specific roles and ultimately, to becoming more aware of our identity as consecrated persons.
For the laity it is clear that the direct experience of the charism and the spirit of evangelical counsels brings them “to live and bear witness to the spirit of the Beatitudes, in order to transform the world according to God’s design;” to a spread of a “fruitful spirituality beyond the confines of the Institute” in areas more typically lay, as in a social and political engagement, family life, the world of labor and education; to “offer religious families the precious contribution of their secular state and their specific service”. (cfr VC 54-55) From the viewpoint of apostolic life, it is essential that every lay person have an apostolic expression of his/her own spirituality, which can be in different areas of the apostolic fields of a religious community. What’s more, it is precisely the hope that laity find apostolic expressions of charismatic origin not developed by the congregations: the apostolate is communitarian by mandate, not because work is done together in the same sector.
Religious men and women in turn can take cognizance of their task as “leaders who are spiritual experts of the spiritual life”, called to personal spiritual direction, spiritual assistance to formation associations, to offer formation itineraries around topics of the charism…
Also the community acquires a new dimension: the ability of real hospitality of a community is directly proportionate to its unity and the spirit of communion and freedom and spontaneity of relationships that exists in it: the risk is to “offer a room” or “a meal” and not an experience of community.
Within this reciprocity we become aware of how we are capable of building relationships with the laity to the extent to which we are capable of relating with the brothers and sisters in community, or, still more simply, to the extent that we are capable of relating. Otherwise, we will see phenomena of flight to the outside or idealizations. If the relationship with laity remains predominantly an individual experience, there is the risk of splitting the community. The whole religious community is called to be guarantor of the charism and its implementation.