“The charity of Christ urges us on” (II COR 5:14)
The goal of our life is to be a community of brothers in Christ, sons of a common Father in Heaven, who are joined by the Holy Spirit of Love, a little family of which the Immaculate Virgin is Mother and Queen: to live in a fraternity of mutual love that draws life from the fullness of giving ourselves to Jesus, who is really and personally present in the Holy Eucharist, the center and heart of our community, present mystically in the brothers, in particular in those who are lesser–the minores–present in all creatures inasmuch as only “by Him all things have their existence.” (1 COL 1:17)
We are called to give this witness of total love in the bosom of the Church and among men. We are to give it in humility and simplicity, in poverty and gladness, like Holy Father St. Francis and the first companions.
The measure of our fraternal charity is Jesus Himself: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (JN 13:34-5) For this, the firm desire to deny ourselves is the indispensable prerequisite. The love of Jesus is the content and essence of this charity. Our availability to serve others, and our dedication to our brothers–these things should correspond to the delicate, refined thinking of our Holy Father St. Francis: “If a mother loves and provides for her natural child, how much more devotedly should one not love and provide for his spiritual brothers?” (RULE, CHAPTER 6)
What sustains and guides community life is supernatural obedience, that perfect obedience that makes us look upon having our own selfish way as “vomit,” according to the Seraphic Father’s teaching.
An evangelical life of prayer, poverty, penance demands but a few structures: a timetable for the common exercises of the community; distribution of work to all members by the guardian; the custody of the frugal, necessary goods that serve the community. Very useful instruments for promoting the community life, marked by fraternal participation, are the Council meetings and community chapters.
It is of primary importance that the love of Christ be always animating us–“The charity of Christ urges us on” (II COR 5:14)–to live in a perfect sharing of prayer and action, sorrow and joy.