Read the first and second reflections of this series: “Vatican II | A Grateful Look at the Past” and “Vatican II | Embracing the Future with Hope.”
Living the present with passion!
Today Consecrated Life is in a different place in the Church than it was fifty years ago. In 1968 there were a little over 800 Xaverian Brothers. Today we number just over 200. No doubt the sociology of the Church has changed. While the numbers are not positive, all is not negative either. The past fifty years are also filled with great joy.
We realize that as religious brothers we share with all lay people the universal vocation of being Christ for other. We have willingly collaborated and empowered our lay partners in mission and have been enriched by their faith and generosity. Together we are both called to be leaven and light to our Church and to the world.
Our future as a Congregation does not lie solely in Congo or Kenya. It lies in the heart of each of us and in the belief each of us has in the value of living the Consecrated Life with passion and humbly sharing it with others. Do we have the will to share our belief? Our future depends greatly on our willingness to search together to find ways in which our compelling mission as Xaverian Brothers can respond to the needs of the Church and world. Our way of life is a powerful witness to the Church and the world. No matter how old we are or how young we are, no matter our country of origin, we are still called to read and respond the signs of the times for the sake of the Kingdom. The question each of us must ask ourselves is do I have the will to do so?
The General Chapter of 2013 dealt with the very same themes as the one in 1968-69. Our last chapter calls us to deepen further our understanding and practice of Ryken’s charism, to learn how the practice of common and ordinary frees our hearts to follow Christ, to revitalize our spirituality and community life, to examine the relationship between our vows and the common life, to share our lives as religious brothers with others especially our Xaverian Associates.
Inspired by the testimony of the Brothers who have gone before us we are being asked to live our call as Xaverians with passion and with a strong conviction that together Christ will impel us to share our mission as religious brothers with others so that their joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties especially those of the poor and afflicted become our joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties. Then we will know that we are living the present with passion.
Next Monday we’ll look back to the writing of the Fundamental Principles.