2021 Congregational Assembly of Contemplative Sisters (CACS):
The opening prayer period of the first session today set the tone for addressing the topic of the Essential Elements common to all contemplative communities and also the added essential elements unique to our contemplatives. The common elements include the primacy of God, vows, liturgical life, silence and solitude, lectio divina, Gospel asceticism, prayer/contemplation, enclosure of the heart and being a welcoming community. These elements include the need to balance prayer, work, leisure and study. Our Congregation adds a few more elements: the mercy of the Good Shepherd, universal zeal, apostolic incarnational prayer, reconciliation, community life, complementarily/unity and a focus on justice. No one element is more important than another as they are all interwoven together.
During the day, participants spent considerable time reflecting on how they live these elements as well as any personal hindrances that may interfere with living them more deeply. The true focus of the day was looking at these essential elements with fresh eyes as each listened to the Spirit in order to identify how they might continue to offer the best of themselves.
November 05, 2021