This course was deemed necessary by our Major Superiors in order to study and reflect on the life of our founder, on our charism, our history and on our Normative Texts. Hopefully, the many reflections shared during our weeks together have helped to deepen our understanding of our CPPS patrimony leading to a clearer vision of our own identity, around which it is easier to build communion.
Even St. Gaspar in his days seems to have been preoccupied with the theme of identity. In his Circular Letter # 12 on the occasion of the annual retreat he addresses this issue when he writes: “Each one then should live according to the spirit of the Institute. It is heard said: I like the spirit of the Cistercians, others, I like the spirit of the Jesuits, etc. They do it this way or that. Nonsense! Then you should become Cistercians or Jesuits and not come into this Congregation! You did not become a Cistercian nor a Jesuit; and you aren’t really of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood either because you don’t have her spirit. Who are you then?”
The Document Fraternal Life in Community reminds us that “an essential element of the unity of a religious community is ‘reference to the institute’s founder and to the charism lived by him or her and then communicated, kept and developed throughout the life of the institute’ ” (#45).
We are at a decisive crossroads in our history. We will continue as a vital force within our Church and in society, in the measure with which we are capable of recapturing the founding spirit of St. Gaspar and incarnate that spirit in the diversity of cultures and in the changing social realities in which we live. The deepening of our CPPS identity is calling us to new life and to new hope.