Pray Lent in the Xaverian Way

PrayLENTintheXAVERIAN WAY

Even now, says the Lord,

return to me

with your whole heart,

with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.

Rend your hearts, not your garments,

and return to the Lord, your God.

                                                            Joel 2, 12-13

Dear Brothers, Associates and Collaborators,

The liturgical season of Lent provides us with an opportunity to gather the Xaverian family daily in prayer through the use of the internet, reflecting not just on the traditional Lenten themes, but praying with those themes in the context of the spirituality and charism of Theodore Ryken and the Xaverian Brothers. Beginning with Ash Wednesday and concluding with Easter Sunday we will provide a daily reflection which will include a short reading, brief reflection and an invitation to a spiritual exercise to assist our prayer. Each week will begin with a theme that has its origin in Theodore Ryken’s short autobiographical sketch. The themes are (1) Returning to our true place, (2) Turning toward God, (3) Ordinariness, (4) Falling in love with God and placing oneself in God’s service, (5) Communion from the Margins, (6) Mission. The daily reflections will be prepared by a variety of Brothers, Associates and Collaborators under the coordination of Christopher Irr. The daily reflections will be distributed via the Xaverian Brothers’ Facebook page and will also be available on our Living the Charism website (www.livingthecharism.com). It is my hope that a number of Brothers, Associates, and Collaborators from XBSS will find these daily reflections a help to their journey with Christ during the season of Lent and a means for all of us to grow in communion as a “true religious family, striving to fulfill the spiritual aspirations that Theodore James Ryken had for his Congregation” (from the Preamble to the Description of the Xaverian Charism).

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In addition to the daily reflections, we will also use Lent as a time to reach out to more people through the use of social media. We will begin a concerted effort to post more material on Facebook, Twitter, and Living the Charism in an attempt to initiate greater interest in the Brothers’ charism and spirituality. In the Preamble to the Description of the Xaverian Charism we read: “Through the Xaverian Way we are awakened by the Spirit of God to our own graced potential and freely offer that giftedness in service to the gospel. Through our ministry, in particular among the poor and the marginalized, we work to help others discover their own uniqueness so they, too, may ‘share the love of God with the world through their own giftedness.’” We believe that the blog/social media is a good way of communicating the Xaverian Way; and, if it is the case that following the Xaverian Way truly brings people to a place of personal discovery and deepening experience of the presence of God in their lives, then we need to work at communicating our message through the Internet and broaden and deepen our content. I hope that you not only find the daily prayers, various postings, and “tweets” personally interesting and helpful, but I also hope that you share them with others so that we are able to expand and extend the influence of the Xaverian family.

Finally, during the same time period Brothers, Associates and Collaborators will continue their reflection on the description of the Xaverian Charism as it applies to their particularly life choice. We will move from deepened reflection on the description to articulating practices we can incorporate into our respective lives in order to grow in discipleship as followers of Jesus and sons and daughters of Theodore Ryken. May we pray for each other during this time period and so support each other in responding to God’s call to us as the Xaverian family today.

Sincerely,

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Brother Lawrence Harvey, CFX

General Superior

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One Comment

  1. OCCASIONAL REFLECTIONS #48
    bonaventure
    Ash Wed 2013

    What else can I do, can we do, to prepare for the coming Chapter?

    Rationale
    I am sure we all are well aware of our coming Chapter. An assembly this summer, extensive research concerning our charism, our founder and his spirituality, our forum and a blog are all available for us. While many questions about this chapter face us, what is my immediate concern here? I feel compelled to try to live a more prayerful way to enhance my relations to all of as this chapter comes about. Simply, I plan more intensive spiritual practice to move the Holy Spirit during this chapter and I invite you to join me. This Lent is an appropriate time.

    Practices
    During this Lent especially on Mondays I intend to:
    1) to meditate on who I am as an 85years old and a XB for 66 years—
    2) Fast from food and alcohol as best I can. Fasting is a spiritual focus.
    3) Find ways to respond to the directives from the last chapter. They are for me key to our religious life
    4) Read the fundamental principles and find one way each week to apply.
    5) Make one deliberate effort each week to strengthen community.

    Individual-Communal
    This is my effort and I share with you. Would it be more effective if we could do this together and group share?

    OUR LAST CHAPTER’S DIRECTIVES OR CALLS:
    1) TO GROW IN OUR GOSPEL MISSION
    2) TO INTENSE COMMUNITY—
    3) TO DEEPER CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER
    4) TO THINK AND ACT GLOBALLY AS AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
    5) TO GOSPEL POVERTY IN LIFE and mission
    6) TO DISCERN PERSONALLY AND COMMUNALLY.

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