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Where the Blood Leads Us

Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S.

When we reflect on how to live out our charism in the future, we must begin with the world in which we live and then see how our charism speaks to that world, rather than the other way around. Thus, we do not seek to fit the world into Precious Blood spirituality, but rather we ask what faithful and prophetic word a Precious Blood spirituality can speak to the world as we understand it. This, it seems to me, has to be an ongoing task of our discernment. It will mean that how our charism is enacted will differ from time to time and place to place. Rather than seeing this as a fracturing of our spirituality, it should be understood as a potential enrichment. Think, for example, what the prophetic witness of our sisters and brothers in Latin America and in Liberia has meant to how we have come to understand our vocation and spirituality here in North America! Or what the ministry of reparation the Carmel of the Precious Blood in Dachau has taught us about the mystery of Christ's blood. A genuine charism is one that continues to unfold, meeting the challenges of each new time and place. And I deeply believe that our charism is one that can address the challenges that the dawning of the third millennium can offer us. Our challenge, then, is not a once-for-all determination of the meaning of our charism, but an on-going seeking of its message for the times and places in which we find ourselves.

I would like to suggest that the world into which we are now moving calls us to focus the resources of our charism in three ways. These three are: intensify our focus on building communities, engaging in a ministry of reconciliation, and celebrating the Eucharist in a renewed way.

We are called to intensify our focus on building communities because of the challenges to community in the near and future world, and because voices long excluded need to be heard and welcomed. Some of the threats to community have already been outlined: divisions between generations, between cultures within the same city or nation, the dysfunctional nature of some of our families. And we need to hear voices too often excluded: the voices of women long silenced or ignored, the newcomers who speak in accents unfamiliar to us, and those we pretend do not exist--gay men and women, the disabled.

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