Christian Life Community- F.A.Q.
WHAT IS IT?Christian Life Community is an international community of small groups of committed lay Christians, who seek to integrate the realities of their experience of Ignatian spirituality with the fullness of Christian faith.
WHAT DOES THE CLC WAY OF LIFE MEAN IN PRACTICAL TERMS?Each member assumes the responsibility for participating in the meetings and activities of the group, and each helps and encourages the others to pursue their personal vocation, always ready to participate in the interchange that seeks and gives aid and advice as brothers and sisters in the Lord.
As prayer is fundamentally surrender to God and his desires for us and the human race; listening is surrender to the other persons in the community expressing where they have found God. The CLC process brings these two together: a) personal prayer on scripture and our life story as the word of God and b) listening to others' experience of God in their lives. Eventually these two moments lead to discerned decision for individuals and the community. Such decisions assist the members and the group to carry out their mission.
WHY JOIN CLC?All baptized Christians have a vocation to reveal the healing, reconciling power of Christ for our world. There are many gifted ways of doing this. CLC is one way for women and men who desire to have a part in building a realm of peace, justice, love and joy in our world as it moves into the twenty-first century. It is a way that is both traditional and new.
In short, men and women who desire the spiritual freedom to speak and act in Jesus' name in this world, will find support and direction in CLC.
Men and women come to CLC for a variety of reasons. Some come to have companionship (community), some come to find a deeper, freer relationship with Christ (spirituality), some come committed to a vision of changing the world and desirous of finding others equally committed (mission). Some come to find a simple structure that enables the integration of action and prayer in company with others. For whatever reason people come, formation and growth of persons into the full Christian communal life is a long process. While our community is not exclusively a prayer group, a discussion group, a scripture study group, a self- help group or an issue action group, there are dimensions of all these at various times in the CLC's history.
WHAT DOES CLC MEAN BY COMMUNITY?The CLC is a World Community with members in 55+ countries located on every continent. The local CLC group is the face and local expression of this world community. The local group is a community of persons committed to each other. This happens through the interaction of a group in which members become at ease with one another, able to trust the care and reverence of each other, and able to extend a gospel quality of love that heals while revealing Christ in the world.
Christian Life Community gathers at many levels but the experience of human affection spans the levels from local, to national, to world, and this creates bonds which are basic to the personal growth and apostolic service of members. The World and National CLC have developed formation tools for enabling new groups to get started or existing groups to become CLCs.
WHAT IS IGNATIAN SPIRlTUALITY?The impetus of Christian Life Community is a spirituality that is baptismal and Ignatian. Very simply this means that CLC recognizes that the saving action of Christ is the work of all baptized Christians, who are empowered by the same Spirit that enabled Jesus of Nazareth to reveal the unconditional, compassionate love of the Father. St. Ignatius Loyola, a 16th century Basque nobleman experienced a specific conversion in Christ and a subsequent growth to freedom that he recorded in a prayerful process of Spiritual Exercises. These Exercises have been recognized by the Catholic Church as a powerful tool for enabling men and women of generous spirit to gain the freedom required for discovering the desires of God rooted In the human heart. This spirituality presupposes God's love for each person and the desire of each person to seek God's presence in all dimensions of life by prayerfully discerning day by day and in community what it is God is calling the individual and community to do in their own particular life experience.
Ignatian spirituality is an integrated spirituality, i.e. a process which brings together our faith and daily living, so that we may become more aware of Christ's presence in our life, and respond to the Lord's invitations to carry on the mission of Christ in our world today.