makes CLC different from every other way of following Christ is the characteristic
of our Spirituality which is according to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius.
This doesn't mean just a retreat experience but a whole way of living in the world
which incorporates the spiritual dynamics of the Exercises. Five points are worth
God in All Things
Saint Ignatius means an openness to God in each concrete
situation of our daily life. For St. Ignatius, and for us this is the purpose
and central element in our way of life.
Following the Spirit
In order to find God in all things, a person and the community must be able to
hear and respond to the callings of His Spirit. This means attentiveness to the
flow of interior moods, desires or feelings and the thoughts that accompany them;
there is a need for vigilance because the power of good and evil influence me
from within my head and without, through persons, cultural values, etc. This doesn't,
give magic answers but the peace which is God's gift serves as a touchstone within
me for living and choosing what will be a more loving response in the circumstances
Collaboration with Jesus
Following the Spirit is
only possible for a person rooted in the knowledge and love of Jesus. God's Kingdom
was established through Christ's victory on the cross and is coming to fullness
in the world in each person and situation through the Lordship of Jesus. Collaborating
with Jesus in this struggle leads to intimacy with Jesus - poor, rejected, powerless.
The peace bought by this enables me to sense where I am unfree, especially with
regard to wealth, power, esteem.
and choosing in loving collaboration with Jesus means too, that my life with others
will be 'together'. God has created us in relationships: with himself, other persons
and the universe. We are to be part of his continuing creation. Where there is
alienation we are called to be a force for God's healing, a force for peace, born
Living in True Freedom
Gathering all these elements
together, a Spiritual Exercises way of living means living in the freedom for
which we are created. Part of the gift of creation is that we are free to plot
our course, but we are also called to a freedom which is an authentic, live, loving
collaboration with Jesus freedom from all that threatens Christ's Kingdom in us
and in the world, freedom for a response to concrete situations
As a retreat experience, the Spiritual Exercises are another particularly rich
and powerful experience of the same way of living, only now in the situation of
retreat, prayer and reflection. Their purpose, says Ignatius, is to lead a person
to true spiritual freedom. There are two formats for experiencing the "full"
Exercises. One is experiencing them in a thirty-day period during which one meets
daily with a spiritual director and has regular prayer periods. Another format
that is especially popular with lay persons is the "retreat in daily life",
in which the retreatant meets regularly with a -spiritual director, has daily
prayer periods, but continues living in his/her usual environment. The retreat
experience lasts for several months.
an experience of the Exercises, the five marks of our way of living are sought
and deepened as personal gift in an encounter with God.
freedom I have been given is to be transformed as my relationships are in order,
as Christ becomes a personal friend with whom I can collaborate, attentive to
follow His Spirit in building the Kingdom - all this so that I will be truly free
to find God in all things.
comes to meet me where I am now and transforms my freedom, drawing me to know
and love him more, enabling me to better find Him in all things and in every situation
of my life.
and daily existence: Two different ways of living the same loving collaboration
with Jesus which is characteristic of our CLC spirituality.