Human experience is never static. Experience moves, meaning follows, and new language is born of the evolving meaning.
These last 60 years, the Congregation’s energy has largely come from examining the history of our collective experience, the change in meaning that followed, and the new language we are discovering as a result.
More than ever Redemptorists are on a journey that is calibrated by the world around us and its many questions. This journey cannot be avoided. Opening his first encyclical, Pope Paul VI acclaimed;
How vital it is for the world, and how greatly desired by the Catholic Church, that the two should meet together, and get to know and love one another- ‘Eccesiam suam’, Paul VI, 1964
Paul VI’s hope for the Church has faltered a few times over these nearly 50 years. It has faltered too among Redemptorist, because changing experience, with its evolving meaning and new language, can be a cause for hesitancy. Our joy is that many confreres are not hesitant. They venture out into new mission experiences with new language. Other confreres studiously grapple with the impetus of our origins and try to link them to the new experiences of our time. This is the journey of contemporary Redemptorists.
The Congregation today is like a lens through which shines from one direction the light from Alphonsus and from the other direction the light of contemporary insight and understanding. As a result, within this lens of Redemptorist experience there is new awareness. It is an awareness that invites both a reconnecting and a letting go.
In this context, the question arises: what is the significance of St. Alphonsus? Periodically, we shall publish here a reflection on that question.
You may download the following PDF files reflecting on the significance of St. Alphonsus.