5. Liturgical and Celebratory Community

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing songs and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your heart to God.” – Colossians 3: 14-16.

“Fraternal life is best symbolized and brought to perfection in the Eucharist, which is the sign of unity and the bond of love. Our fraternity is also nourished by prayer, especially liturgical prayer. It is fostered by a prevailing tone of family life in which we all live together sincerely and openly. It is also expressed by our sharing in the governance and orderly operation of the community. Strengthened by all these helps we can move forward in missionary community to achieve that personal fullness to which we have been called”. – Constitutions, 12.


People have dreamed about it, longed for it, and even said: “Yes, Another Community is possible.”[1] It is a reality that already exists. This Community which gathers the deepest yearnings for true human and fraternal relationship already exists. That place where it is possible to attain “the personal fullness to which we have been called,”[2] is real. And it’s not far from you. Your community, the one in which you live and which you find to be a cross rather than a delight,[3] where it seems that it is not possible to experience the joy and wonder of being together as if it were “a sprinkle of the Hermon”[4] or “oil that comes down Aaron’s beard,”[5] which is actually another reality.

Eucaristia Det 2 Coclesito Costa Abajo PanamaAnd it is not because you imagine it or dream about it. It is because someone has already dreamed about it, made it a reality and put it in your way. First of all, as a missionary community is an undeserved gift to be unwrapped, contemplated and admired. And then, as a task to be performed and embodied as a harmonized choral: worshipping, praising, celebrating and walking together side by side.

When we say “community”, we tend to think of documents that speak of fraternity in sublime terms or moral and repetitive formulas which depress us more than encourage us. Our way of community life is much more than an institution. It is the actualization of a new mode of interpersonal relationship for which God created man and which, unfortunately, is threatened from the beginning by our withdrawal, individualism and struggle for power. Jesus makes that dream a reality during his earthly existence (where the service and dedication of one’s life for the other is the axis around which everything revolves), and it culminates in his death on the cross “to gather the scattered children.”[6] This gift explodes as the creative force (Ruah) that restores the division of the promised Babel into the Pentecostal epiclesis of the Spirit.[7] Since then, the community of followers—believers in Jesus—are united “in the breaking of bread and in prayers[8] to remember and announce the salvific project of God realized in his Son Jesus “until he comes.[9] Our life as community is the prophetic gift of living as a family of God conceived as a pattern of relationships between people making visible God’s dream of humanity. This is not possible if the community does not live permanently anchored in the liturgical celebration from which it flourishes and tends (“source and summit of the life of the Church”).[10] .

Say the Same Thing with Other Words

“Rabbi Eisik ben Jekel, a pious rabbi from Krakow, kept trusting in God even after going through many years of harsh misery. One day he had a dream in which he was ordered to go to Prague, for there, under the great bridge leading to the royal castle and find out a treasure that was hidden. As this dream was repeated three times, Eisik ben Jekel from Krakow decided to heed to the voice of the dream and set out on his way to Prague. After nearly two weeks on foot, he managed to reach his destination. Once there, he finds the bridge of his dream, but he sees that there was always a vigilant sentry keeping watch both day and night. He could not dig in the place indicated by his dream without raising suspicion. However, for several days, Eisik ben Jekel of Krakow would come to the place every morning and circle around until sunset. Logically, the guards took note of the strange visitor and reported the matter to the garrison captain. The Captain approached him kindly and asked if he had lost anything or was waiting for someone.

After several evasive answers, Eisik ben Jekel of Krakow, feeling discovered, told the captain about his dream with great simplicity upon which the officer laughed his heart out and told the poor worn out wayfarer: “But really, poor man, have you worn your shoes to walk all this long way simply because of a dream?” He added: “Let’s see: what reasonable person would believe in a dream?” He then confessed to the rabbi that he too had a dream in which he was told that he had to travel to Krakow in search of a great treasure that was hidden behind the fireplace of the house of a rabbi named Eisik, ben Jekel. “Do you realize?” said the captain, “Can you imagine going to Krakow and asking in a city where half the Jews are called Eisik and the other half Jekel?And he broke into laughter with all his might.

Eisik ben Jekel, thanked him kindly and hastily returned to Krakow, entered his house and unearthed the treasure hidden behind his fireplace. He built the long-desired Synagogue in the town which to this day is called “Reb Eisik ben Reb Jekel School.” “Remember this story,” Rabbí Bunan said, “and learn the message that touches you: there is something you will not be able to find anywhere in the world, but that exists in a place, where one is”.[11]

Martin Buber, who has collected this Hasidic legend, continues to say: “There exists one thing that can be found in one place in the world. It is a great treasure, which can be called the fullness of existence. And the place where such treasure is found is precisely the place where one is.”[12]

1. What do the Eastern Christians remind us of liturgical life

As a Claretian missionary, I have rediscovered many aspects of the treasure of my community vocation, which was—so to speak—hidden behind the chimney of my community’s home and I myself was unaware. As in the hasidic legend, I had to come far from my birthplace, lose my homeland in some way, to discover the treasure that was right in front of my eyes, in my own home.

It is observed that the liturgy or spirituality occupy the utmost interest in the thought of the Eastern Christians. Sometimes the Eastern Christian is even accused of limiting one’s practice and intellectual interest in faith almost entirely to worship and liturgy, as if there was nothing else in Christianity. The reflection and pastoral practice of Eastern Christians (particularly the Orthodox) seems not interested in issues such as evangelization, dialogue with contemporary culture, social action and the struggle for justice, peace or the safeguarding of creation that, for us Latinos, are vital. It is obvious that this accusation is a distortion and an exaggeration of reality. However, as is often the case with all exaggerations, the hyperbolism highlights something real and obvious. In the Eastern Christian’s utmost interest in liturgy, we find something very valuable which profoundly affects other dimensions of theological thought and Christian practice.

The best reflections on worship and the liturgy present, not so much an elucidation on exoteric practices or empty rubrics, but a fresh and very original vision of the human being, of man’s relationships with the earth, the cosmos and other human beings. Think for example, of the work of the Russian thinker Pavel Florenski, and especially his work, The Philosophy of Worship.[13] According to Florenski, to understand the reality of the human being or the cosmos around him, it is necessary to go beyond the naturalistic positivism (that is to say “there is no more wax than the one that burns”) which is unable to know things in their most radical and real truth. “The roots of the visible are in the invisible and the limits of the intelligible are in the non-intelligible. Worship is the fixed point of the universe, the fulcrum and cause of all that exists.” In one of the pages of this book we find the following statement: “There is an eternal source that is at the same time the agent of this antinomic movement: the permanent motor of the “yes” and “no” of our life. It is a crater in which the lava is never covered by a stone crust. It is a window open to our true reality from which other worlds are seen. It is a breach in the earthly existence through which streams from another world flow onto it, nourishing and strengthening it. In short, this is worship.” [14].

Thinking about how worship and liturgical celebration can oxygenate and widen the horizon of community relations, I find the commentary that the author makes of the hymn that is sung at the beginning of the Eucharistic Liturgy which begins with the words, “we who represent the cherubs” (Yezhi Jerubimy).[15] The liturgy presents us with a reality that is opaque for us outside the realm of worship, but which makes it transparent and accessible.[16] “In each of us there is something similar to a Cherub, something similar to the divine Angel with many eyes, such as consciousness. But this resemblance is not external, nor apparent. It’s not evident, it’s not bodily; it’s not like the man’s resemblance to his portrait. The resemblance to the Cherub is inside, mysterious and hidden deep in the soul. It’s a spiritual likeness. There is a great heart in our soul, an angelic nucleus of the soul, but it is hidden in mystery and is invisible to the eyes of the flesh.”[17]

We are invited to contemplate something real, but invisible to the superficial and analytical gaze. We are invited to discover our own reality and the reality of those who are around us. It is a profound metanoia, a total change of vision. The liturgy allows me to widen and deepen my field of vision. I am not a blind man unable to see anything, not a cyclops with one eye that captures only the epidermis of things and people. Actually, I’m full of eyes. I am all eyes [18] and I can see how polyhedral is the reality that exists in me and in my brothers, in our relationships and in relations with the world and the cosmos. Our tasks for a more just and human world, where all are treated according to the dignity of children of God are not only an expression of our good intentions, but true worship of the God whose glory is the life of man (Irenaeus of Lyon), part of that “worship after worship.”[19] The liturgical worship lived in community makes me discover the treasure that is hidden in my own cherub heart and that of those who live with me.

To see clearly, you must let yourself be filled with the light that comes from within. In that divine light you can see clearly the light (“Your light, Lord, makes us see the light”)[20] and realize the true identity of all that exists. That brother, whose way of thinking or acting sometimes takes you out of your mind. The bad temper of another person that you can’t stand, or someone unfairly criticizing you last week you are not able get out of your head. All this can be seen with other eyes and can be confronted and endured from that deep experience of the crater of the liturgy, which shows the living and fiery reality beyond the hard, rocky and sharp crust.

It is not easy poetry or disembodied spirituality. On the contrary, it deals with deep resources of great energy to strengthen relationships, remake people and open possibilities; they are veins of fresh grace that are within our reach and are given to us (yes, brothers, it is a gift!!!) to rehabilitate and give life to those who looked dead. They’re there locked in ancient formulas learned by memory. In the church’s liturgy some incalculable treasures are hidden.

When I am tired of always being the one who picks up and tidies up the house, or of forgiving impertinences, or of making peace when “constructive” criticism begins, when the desire comes to say “enough” and get everyone out, what I have asked the Lord so many times in the Liturgy emerges from the contemplative heart, “May He transform us into a permanent offering.[21]

Recently Pope Francis recalled these things in his address to the Plenary of the Congregation for Divine Worship: “The starting point is to recognize the reality of the sacred liturgy, a living treasure that cannot be reduced to tastes, recipes or current trends, but must be received with docility and promoted with love, as an irreplaceable food for the organic growth of the People of God. The liturgy is not “the field of doing it yourself,” but the epiphany of ecclesial communion. Therefore, in the prayers and gestures resounds the “we” and not the “I”; the real community, not the ideal subject. When we long for past trends or want to impose new ones, there is a risk of putting the part before the whole, the “I” before the People of God, the abstract before the concrete, the ideology before communion and, deep down, the mundane before the spiritual.”[22]

To celebrate the liturgy in community is, therefore, to open ourselves from the real community to the epiphany of ecclesial communion, the deep “we”, always threatened by selfishness, ideologies and worldliness. We must open those windows that give access to other fresh and life-giving airs. There is much life, much capacity for forgiveness and much possibility of transformation in the liturgy of the Church. And it is not because we like it, but because it is, above all, anamnesis – the memory of a Living One – whose strength and capacity remains omnipotent. He is the one who has called us to be in this community and has given us to each other. When the community gathers to revive and remember his presence and action, to bless and worship his designs, the summit of what we really are is unraveled in the depths of each person and as a group. We discover, behind the hard crust of the visible, the magma of grace, forgiveness and enthusiasm that give meaning to all that we are and do.

To celebrate the liturgy in community is therefore to open ourselves from the real community to the epiphany of ecclesial communion which is deep in us, but always threatened by selfishness, ideologies and worldliness. You have to open those windows that give access to other fresh air filled with life. There is a lot of life, a lot of capacity for forgiveness and a great possibility of transformation in the liturgy of the Church. And not because we like it, but because it is—above all—anamnesis, memory of a Living God whose strength and capacity remains omnipotent. He is the one who has called us to be in this community and has given us to each other. When the community gathers to revive and memorize its presence and action, to bless and worship its designs, it denies the crater of what we really are in the deepest each and as a group and discover, behind the hard crust of the visible, the magma of grace, forgiveness and enthusiasm that give meaning to all that we are and do.

2. Worship, Praise and Proclaim

It is enough to open the Missal and recount the frequency with which these verbs—worship, praise and proclaim—appear because they are intimately linked to the liturgical action of the Church. They are all part of the foundation of the liturgy: thanksgiving. These are not just empty expressions. In them the faith of the community and its way of meeting the God of life (lex orandi, lex credendi) is expressed. By repeating these words and letting them enter the heart, they become a modus credendi et vivendi, a way of believing and living. Adoring, praising, and proclaiming God’s glory is tantamount to saying that when we praise, bless, and proclaim God’s work, we become who we really are.

2.1. Worship

On the walls of a Palatine building in Rome (Domus Gelotiana) there is a graffiti written in Greek which was discovered in 1857 (it was the most used language on the street at the end of the 1st century). In the drawing you can see a young man, almost a child, who is in front of a crucified man with a donkey’s head. Next to it is written, “Alexamenos sebete Theon (Alexamenos worships his God).” The house was a kind of boarding school for the imperial court. Alexamenos was a Christian and his companions, who knew it, ridiculed him in that way.

What interests us here is the action of the young boy: sebete, it means to honor, to worship. How does that young Christian worship his God? The drawing shows a person who puts his hand to his mouth and then directs it to the one who is crucified. In other words, “worship: ad-ora-re” means to put the mouth (os-oris) forward, or to put it another way, to kiss, to throw kisses to whom you respect and honor.

I stop at this gesture, because when we talk about worship we usually instinctively think of knees or curved back as gestures to express deep respect. We would never have thought that it has to do with the mouth and kisses.

Worship is therefore the spontaneous movement that causes the surprise, amazement and delight of feeling loved, chosen and surrounded by the tenderness and compassion of God who invites me to be his friend. Meeting Him and adoring Him (covering Him with kisses) is all one. A community that lives its election and its experience of encounter with God, that is moved by his words, his mystery and his longing for relationships with human beings as an undeserved and great gift, worships what surpasses it (“it is sublime and I do not embrace it”) and lives always in awe, with the “Oh!” in the heart and the lips.

In a room next to the graffiti room we have mentioned, another hand has written on the wall, and in Latin: “Alexamenos fidelis” “Alexámenos is faithful”. This is probably the answer of the same young man or someone who knows him well. Adoration leads to a strengthening of fidelity, not because it makes us more willful, but because it invites us to contemplate the hidden work of God in the events of our own history and in those around us. Worshipping the God who is faithful and who keeps his love and his covenant perpetually, leads us to keep hoping that much good can come out of our community. It helps us to pay attention to the hundreds of details (may be thousands!) of God’s faithfulness in our everyday life and also to the countless gestures of attention, tenderness, discretion, affection, delicacy and fidelity of the brothers.

Normally our traditional form of adoration is Eucharistic Adoration and we usually restrict the term to that moment of liturgical piety. But it is much more than that. It is an alternative way of seeing and facing life, of thinking about relationships and of serving people in our apostolic mission. We do everything from God, with God and in God (“Through Christ, with Him and in Him).[23] Because everything begins in Him, moves in Him and culminates in Him. es in Him and culminates in Him.

Adoration – as Pope Francis reminded the participants of the 2015 General Chapter – is counter-cultural in this world of efficiency where everything is negotiated, everything changes and everything can be imitated with replicas.. Worship is for Francis “To be, nothing else, before God, the only thing that has no price, that is not negotiated, that is not changed… And everything that is outside of Him is imitation of a carton, is an idol”. I can think of some concrete things in which worship can profoundly affect community relationships by broadening and deepening them, making them more humanly divine:

  • To be, just like that. We all have experience that the most difficult part of worship is being there. Not to leave, even if you do not know very well what to do, or getting bored, or “not feeling” anything… Worship helps to cultivate stability in a world so unstable and of such ephemeral and inconsistent relationships. It fosters a new form of Stabilitas (stability) in Communities, an expression of the fidelity to the one who has called us to “reach personal fulfillment” with these specific people and not others.
  • Wasting time. When we worship the Lord, we have the feeling of doing nothing, of devoting ourselves to something that is not worthwhile, useless. Worship helps us to understand this dimension of our community life. Being together often requires us to waste time, to dedicate ourselves to apparently useless things, which no one values, no one levies, and no one pays us. True human relationships are woven from rituals that are repeated because they do us good and humanize us (being together, praying together, eating together, celebrating together) To be effective, these rituals that heal, demand a lot of time: preparation, details, leaving the clock and agendas aside… To have time for others is to tell them that they are the most valuable thing we have. Worshipping the God who always has time for man frees us from the slavery of the clock, stressful schedules and lifeless empty ritualism and helps us to value what is truly necessary and important.
  • A very active passivity. Worship is a passive activity. It emphasizes not what we do for God or what we tell Him, but what He does and says, how He acts in our history. Worship brings about a lifestyle that is more focused on God’s passage through our personal and community life. We need to be attentive to divine passivities, rather than to our “activities” in God’s name. Living worship as a form of spirituality will help us to let God be God, giving him more and more space and time in our programs of action. Only from worship do we understand the beautiful words of Claret “One will say that in this world he loves God if he is satisfied that God is God and that he is loved and served by all the world and is sad that God is offended and wronged. And he seeks to make him known, to loved and served by all, and to prevent as many sins as possible”[24] Those who worship God in this way are filled with his light and transforming beauty and witness to God “without speaking, without pronouncing, without resounding his voice.”[25]

2.2. Bless

The Judeo-Christian Revelation could be summed up in the verb ‘bless’ with its derived forms. Between the Old and the New Testament, it appears no less than 617 times in the Bible. From the beginning, God blesses everything He has created.[26] Blessing is tantamount to living, giving the ability to beget life and be fruitful and to enjoy life. We find in Sacred Scripture at least 3 forms of blessing:

  • The blessing we wish each other. To bless someone is to wish them life, happiness, joy and fulfillment. It is to rejoice in that the other person is alive and happy. These are not just empty words of formality or courtesy. Blessing involves me in what I say. I commit myself to do everything in my power to make it happen. One who blesses his brother thinks and speaks well of him and speaks to him with respect, love and sympathy. He is sincerely happy with his successes and grieves with his failures. To bless is to humanize and to enliven our relationships in words, deeds and details without putting as a previous condition the perfection in the relationships., It is to accept the limitations of all carrying them in the heart and in the prayer as a wound inflicted by the commandment of love”. This commandment asks us “Bless those who curse you”; “Bless and do not curse” . To curse is to exclude from life, to desire death, to say to the other with words or with desire: “The earth would be more beautiful without you. It would be better if you did not exist.” That is why a Christian, as a son of the Father in heaven, can never be an agent of curse and death.
  • The blessing directed to God. Logically, it is not a matter of wishing God something good that he does not possess. When Israel blesses God, it recognizes that everything comes from God. This blessing is especially linked to the fruits of the earth in which God’s blessing becomes visible. Our Eucharistic liturgy has borrowed these formulas from the Hebrew rituals of blessing: “Blessed are you, Lord, God of the Universe, for this bread…. for this wine”. In this blessing we become aware of being debtors, of receiving everything from God. We cannot appropriate anything, because it is not ours. The Blessing puts things in their place. That’s why every possessive adjective (especially “mine”) is a blasphemy, as Paul reminds us “what have you that you have not received? [from God, of course]” . A community that blesses the God who fills it with blessings is a community in which everyone feels indebted and not entitled to make demands on others. It is a community in which one gives thanks for everything and lives the grace and care of what is God’s and therefore belongs to everyone. The blessing is expressed in the sharing of everything as grace, with a sense of humor and with tender mercy, learning to accept or overcome the many imperfections and limitations on the path. We bless God for the time He gives us and for all the moments (Liturgy of the Hours) that are always a time of grace and blessing. The Psalms help us to praise the various ups and downs of life: overflowing joy or overwhelming depression when one feels “barren and howling waste”or at the top singing songs of praise in the bustle of the feast. The blessing and praise of God make us aware of the moment of personal and community salvation that we live, of God’s passage through our lives as a source of life and grace for all our hours, each with its own particular flavor.
  • Cascalheira Mt Br Renacer De Las AguasGod’s blessing upon us. We begin each new year with a beautiful blessing from the book of Numbers that the Liturgy gives us. The priests in the temple after the sacrifice blessed the people with it. It is loaded with images of closeness and strength of God who cares for us, protects us, shows us his favor and as a culmination gives us his peace (Shalom), the “fullness to which we are called”. God assures us of his life-giving and fulfilling presence and the community feels blessed, humanized, rehabilitated and healed of its wounds. The peace of God, the maximum good of the blessing is the great gift for his people (“the Lord will make Jerusalem to flow like a river, peace”; “the Lord blesses his people with peace”) that remakes human relations with forgiveness. Forgiveness is, with thanksgiving, one of the basic pillars that build and sustain the community. True forgiveness overcomes both a fanatical community Utopia in which there is no room for weakness and no time for the clumsy, and a disenchanted pessimism that says “there is no one alive here”. The divine gift of peace gives us God’s unconditional forgiveness and in it we learn to forgive each other. In our community relationships we should give more room to the community celebration of forgiveness to make us aware of the river of grace and mercy that God causes to flow towards us as a channel of his blessing. Only in this way can we truly bless one another with the mutual forgiveness offered without conditions.

2.3. Proclaim

The liturgy with its gestures, words, songs and silences proclaims the work of God. Within the Eucharistic Liturgy, the great proclamation is that of the Liturgy of the Word and particularly the Gospel, but the whole of it proclaims the glory of God. The Missionary Community with its lifestyle, words and actions is called to proclaim “the greatness of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light” [27]. “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brother” [28]. For a long time we have been looking for ways to be eloquent signs of God’s love in our world. We are trying to capture the ways and attitudes of life more purposefully to proclaim the gospel in a credible way. In this context of strong secularism it is urgent to rethink the prophecy of our words and our way of life, especially communitarian, as the great proclamation of the passage from death to life.

Perhaps today, in the face of a panorama so insensitive to religious and moral proposals of a discursive type, a shock therapy similar to that of the “madmen of God” (yurodivy) of Eastern Christianity is necessary, who with their naive and counter-cultural way of life turned upside down the values of money, power or vainglory lived on the margins of God. What is truly urgent, timely and effective is to hook our contemporaries to the life of the Spirit. When we speak of spirituality as an urgent and effective proposal for our time, we mean to connect with the deepest reality of ourselves where the reality of God is alive. For this it is necessary to claim for our personal and community way of life the overcoming of the spirit of suspicion and mutual rivalry as a relational channel. True love for others helps us to recover a kind of new innocence or lucid naivety, which welcomes the other, whoever he or she may be, without suspicion. Our western world has educated us in mistrust and therefore it seems that we need to think badly and be suspicious in order to control others, so as not to experience the anguish that radical mistrust has generated in us.

Our prophetic and “alternative” communities are called to be the reflection of God-love-relationship in which they believe in their lifestyle and mission. “The fraternal life wants to reflect the depth and richness of this mystery, configuring itself as a human space inhabited by the Trinity, which thus pours into history the gifts of communion that are proper to the three divine Persons. A community that is an icon of this God, an open space in which another reality can be perceived, where so many people who suffer from “relational anorexia” can be rehabilitated. A community that silently proclaims the possibility of living that lucid ingenuity, in the style of Francis of Assisi or Claret, compassionate and meek, capable of seeing always more values than defects in others . Today there is an urgent need to proclaim as possible a model of existence characterized by simplicity, solidarity, forgiveness, prayer, work, benevolence and tenderness that we reach through relationships that arise from a true deep communication that includes feelings, emotions, concerns, desires and even ideas and reflections.

Our prophetic and alternative communities are called to reflect in their lifestyle and mission the trinitarian love in which they believe: “Fraternal life wants to reflect the depth and richness of this mystery, being configured as a human space inhabited by the Trinity, which pours into history the gifts of communion that are typical of the three divine Persons.”[29] A community formed in the image of that trinitarian love provides an open space for another reality where so many people who suffer from “relational anorexia”[30] can be rehabilitated. A community that silently proclaims the possibility of living that lucid naivety, in the style of Francis of Assisi or Claret, compassionate and meek, and able to always see more values than defects in others.[31] Today we urgently need to proclaim a model of existence characterized by simplicity, solidarity, forgiveness, prayer, work, benevolence and tenderness to which we come through relationships that arise from a true and deep communication that includes feelings, emotions, concerns, desires and even ideas and reflections.


The community that worships, blesses and proclaims its hope in the God of life is an eloquent witness of the presence of God’s love as “an epiphany of communion” (Pope Francis) among us. Claret lived this community experience in Cuba and filled with amazement at the work of the Spirit of God in the brothers with whom he lived, exclaims: “I didn’t know why I did things this way, but in time I came to see that it was the result of a special grace of kindness that the Lord had granted me… and could not give me any other reason to say: Digitus Dei esthic.”[32] The community of missionaries living with Claret in their mission in Cuba evokes admiration for their hard work, peace, harmony, openness and hospitality. The Archbishop recognizes that God blesses the means that they used to achieve it and the result is something worthy of wonder, because one feels the very action of God: the community has become a place where the glory of God is witnessed and contemplated, the fruits of which are harmony, peace and joy.


  1. After reading the text, in what ways do you feel called to change or deepen your view of the community from a liturgical dimension?
  2. Are you convinced that God really calls you to achieve personal fulfillment in the missionary community? Or is it simply an unrealizable utopia?
  3. How much time do we spend, care do we show and conscientiousness do we have in preparing our community liturgies?
  4. Do we take good care of our chapel? What part of the Community budget do we spend on this aspect?

(1) Let us set aside one morning or an afternoon to the Eucharistic Adoration, taking care of the silence, the songs and placing by the altar a large photograph of the community or the photos of each of the brothers.

(2) In a community meeting (it may be a day of retreat), we pray the Prayer to the Father in the Spiritual Directory (68). Someone reads the text of Matthew 6: 19-23 and, after a period of silence, another reads the legend of Rabbi Eisik ben Jekel.

  • We talk about where the hidden treasure of our lives may be and why our eyes do not discover it. Have we ever had Claret’s experience of discovering that the “finger of God” was at any event, place, or person in the community?
  • We speak well and bless God for something good we have discovered in one of the brothers in the community.
  • We ask each other for forgiveness and invoke God’s forgiveness with the liturgical formula: “Almighty God have mercy on us…”
  • We conclude with prayer 71 in the Spiritual Directory.



[1] Fr. Jose Cristo Rey, CMF, has written a book titled, “Another community is possible, Claretian Publications, Madrid, 2018, p. 179.

[2] CC 12.

[3] Carlos Gonzalez Valles SJ, The Community Cross and Delight. The Joys And the difficulties of the Live Together. Pauline, Milan, 1995, p. 132.

[4] AMedeo Cencini FDCC, “… Come Dew dell’Ermon…” Fraternal life Communion of Saints and Sinners. Pauline Milan, 1998, p. 322.

[5] Psalm 133:2.

[6] Jn 11:52.

[7] Acts 2:1-11.

[8] Acts 2:42.

[9] 1 Cor 11:26.

[10] SC 10; LG 11.

[11] Martin Buber, The Way dell’uomo. Quiqajon, Magnano, 1990, p. 57-58.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Cf. Pavel Florenski, The Philosophy of worship. A priest of Natalino Valentini. San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 2016, p. 586.

[14] Ibid., 70.

[15] “We who mystically represent the Cherubim, and who sing the Hymn of the Trisagion to the Vivifying Trinity, set aside all earthly eagerness, in order to welcome the King of Heaven and Earth” (Divine Liturgy by St. John Chrysostom).

[16] The category transparent, which is consistent with this oriental reading, is used by a thinker who would seem to be in the antipodes of these conceptions as “liturgical,” says Leonardo Boff. For him, between inaccessible transcendence and the closed Immanence itself, there is the realm of Transparency, a series of immanent realities that put us in touch with the sublime, which is beyond those realities, but is already present in them. Cf. Leonardo Boff, The sacraments of life. Salt Terrae Santander, 1978, p. 109.

[17] “We’re like clay glasses filled with glimmering gold. On the outside we are blackened and stained, inside, on the contrary, we shine with a radiant light. You are like that, brothers. Remove man’s outer garment and you will see his body, subject to temptations, disease, and death. If you remove the body too, then you will see the thick stratum of sins, as if it were rust that corrodes our souls. But if, later, this foul, rotten body part was also removed from the soul, then there, rightly at the center of the soul, you would see the Guardian Angel. With his many eyes he sees each of your minimum desires, captures every thought of man. Behold the holy matrix of the human soul, the real me of man. This is a holy, mysterious temple that shines with a heavenly beauty. In him dwells the Holy Spirit. Night and day, incessantly, He intercedes for us with inexpressible groans. (…) Man is holy in the center of his soul; He has been sanctified because God has sanctified him, indifferent to outer filth. (…) And man is not the icon of God? Just as the icon, beyond the colors and the chart, hides the beneficial force of God, so too beyond the body of man and beyond his sinful soul lives, in the inner temple, in consciousness, the Holy Spirit of the many eyes. (…) The Kingdom of Heaven is the divine part of the human soul. To find her in himself and in others, to convince herself with her own eyes of the holiness of God’s creature, of the goodness and love of people, in this is eternal beatitude and eternal life”. Pavel Florenski, Radost’ naveki (Joy forever) In Bogolovskie Trudy (Theological Works) 23 (1982), p. 317-318.

[18] Since its inception, monasticism has been compared to the angelic life. The angels, according to tradition, are full of eyes. “Be all eyes” is the provocative invitation of Besarión, an “abba” of the desert who went blind as he got old, even though his eyes—paradoxically—were getting bigger and bigger. Shortly before he died, responding to a young novice, he said that the monk must be “Holos oftalmos” which means, all eyes. Those who feel like angels, full of eyes, are able to see well and discover unsuspected sources of novelty, vitality and grace, where others see only routine, decadence or death.

[19] This is often called the social and charitable action of Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Eucharistic cult leads to selfless service of the needy which is Christ himself.

[20] Psalm 35.

[21] Eucharistic Prayer III.

[22] Holy See Press Office, Speech of the Holy Father Pope Francis to The Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Available In http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/es/speeches/2019/ february/documents/papa-francesco_20190214_cong-culto-divino.html – Access: Jan. 6, 20.

[23] That’s the ultimate root of missionary communal enthusiasm. Knowing that we are as we are, we are always God, because “in Him we live, move, and exist” (Act 17:28; Sunday Preface VI).

[24] Mss. Claret, II, 10 in S. Antonio Mr. Claret, Autobiography. Ed. Claretiana, Buenos Aires 2008, p. 658.

[25] Psalm 18:4a.

[26] Cf. Gn 1:22, 28.

[27] 1 On 2, 9.

[28] 1Jn 3, 4.

[29] VC 41.

[30] Katia Roncalli in Consecration and Service, 1 (2013), p. 40.

[31] Cf. Aut. 33-34.

[32] “Our residence was the admiration of all outsiders who came to visit with us. I mention this because I had given orders that any outside priest who came to town were to be guests in my residence, whether I was there or not, for as long as they cared to stay (…) and all found a place in my Palace and at my table; and it seems that God brought them to see that lovely spectacle. They could not help but notice that our house was like a beehive, with everyone coming and going at my request, and all of them were quite content and happy. Outsiders were always amazed at the sight of it and praised God. I often wondered how it was possible for so much peace, joy, and harmony to reign for so long a time among such a large group. I always ended up saying the same thing: Digitus Dei est hic. This is a singular grace that God has given us in his infinite mercy and kindness. I knew that God was blessing the efforts we were putting forth when he gave us such a special grace” (Aut. 607-609).