A deepening of the identity of our Community from the Magisterium’s perspective

From the very beginning our search directed towards the consecrated life was motivated by the desire to find a radical answer to Jesus’s call to live holiness in poverty, chastity and obedience – according to the immutable and challenging requirements left by Jesus himself to those who want to follow Him on the way of perfect love for the glory of the Father and in service to His Kingdom. In addition, we used to feel the crisis within the Church itself, especially the crisis – that we all know today-of the consecrated life. The Spirit that has enlivened us and that has accompanied us in our spiritual search was a never ending call towards renewal-or conversion (metanoia), in biblical terms-proclaimed by all the Gospels. Passionately inflamed by this spirit, we took seriously the call to renewal that the Holy Spirit has once again addressed to the whole Church, a renewal inaugurated by the second Vatican Council. Yet, this renewal, as shown by the conciliar documents, can be performed only by remaining faithful to the authentic traditions of our own rite and keeping them in their integrity, still adapted to different ways of life and necessities of time and place [1]. As the Council strongly requested: “all the Orientals should have the certitude that they can and they must always keep their legitimate liturgical rites and the discipline and that they shouldn’t make any changes within them except for the benefit of their organic progress” [2].

In addition, the Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches quotes Pope John Paul II – who, taking into consideration the conciliar document Orientalium Ecclesiarum, reaffirms what the Council has already been decreeing by saying that, in the intention of the Magisterium of the Church it is undoubtedly a duty and not an option that the Eastern Catholic Churches should regain courage and try to restore and protect their own ecclesial inheritance: “and if by reasons of time or persons they have unfairly abandoned them, to make efforts to come back to their ancestral traditions.” John Paul II considers this “a symbol of the firm attitude that the Holy See has so well expressed during the Council, when he asked the Eastern Churches in full communion to have the courage to rediscover the authentic traditions of their own identity, and bring them to their initial purity, where necessary.” [3] “Wishing that these treasures should flourish and contribute more and more to the evangelization of the world.” [4]

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church has also spoken a lot about the need of a reflourishing of the monastic life within the Eastern Catholic Churches, that could bring about for them a true spiritual spring, by saying: “As to the monasticism, taking into consideration its value for the Eastern Christianity, we would like that the Eastern Catholic Churches should flourish again and should offer help to all those who are being called to this work of revitalization. As a matter of fact, in the Orient there is an inherent connection between the liturgical prayer, the spiritual tradition and the monastic life. And because of this, a well prepared and motivated renewal of the monastic life could bring about an ecclesial flourishing. And we shouldn’t think that this could damage the pastoral ministry, which, in fact would be strengthened by such a powerful spirituality, that it should regain its ideal place“. [5]

This being said, our community wants to faithfully follow the instructions of the Magisterium of the Church, accepting them as a gift from God to the Oriental Churches in order for them to rediscover their own identity, thus contributing to the renewal of the life of the Church and accomplishing their unique role that they are called to play within the ecumenical movement: “Everybody has to know that it is very important to know, to worship, to keep and to develop the so rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Orientals, in order to faithfully maintain the fullness of the Christian tradition and to achieve the reconciliation between the Orientals and the Westerners.“ [6]

[1] Orientalium Ecclesiarum, nr 2.

[2] Ibid. nr. 6

[3]  Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches

[4] Ibid. nr 10

[5] Pope John Paul II, Orientale Lumen, 27

[6] Second Vatican Council, Unitatis Redintegratio, nr 15

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