Breaking new ground at the CLC
By Manuel Martínez Arteaga
[From “Jesuits 2021 - The Society of Jesus in the world”]
When in February 2019 the Society of Jesus shared the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) 2019-2029, here at the Christian Life Community (CLC) – an international association of lay people with an Ignatian charism and spirituality – we were filled with joy. We sensed the convergence of two processes begun at different times and carried forward by two apostolic bodies that live their Christian vocation according to two different states of life. With a universal outlook and guided by the Spirit, we have decided to turn our gaze toward the same horizon. This gaze is in line with the kairos the Church is experiencing. As we find ourselves breaking new ground, Pope Francis with his encyclicals and apostolic exhortations, makes us feel at one with the Church, inviting us to a greater commitment, to “come out of ourselves in order to meet others.”
The last General Assembly (Buenos Aires 2018) focused our attention on deepening communal discernment. As CLC, we then feel called to offer ourselves, achieving a better integration of our three dimensions: spirituality, community and apostolic impulse. And we know, because we have experienced it, that discernment in common is what gives unity of purpose. It is part of who we are, it is at the heart of our mission and it is the way we do things. Pope Francis has insisted very much on the need for discernment at this time. It is one of the least developed facets, both in the Church and in society. In permanent contact with reality – source of inspiration – we are invited to open up places for coming together that allow us to create a culture of discernment. We are convinced that, through discernment and its fruits, we are meant to create, transform, reconcile and love. May who we are shine forth.