Dom Jean-Pierre Longeat, OSB
President of AIM
This edition of the Bulletin has a very special character. It presents a working document presented by the International Team of the AIM to accompany community reflection on different aspects of their life as it is lived today. The Bulletin itself, apart from the usual headings, gives some keys for using this document. The booklet entitled, ‘A Mirror of Monastic Life Today’, accompanies this edition in order to allow a specially large number of the community to have access to it.
It is, then, a mirror in which to see one’s own face in order to see the measures needed to make the most of oneself. It is a mirror for the community. Indeed, each community can use this tool for reflection in order to lay out the situation and reach a viewpoint shared by all the members of the group. Apart from a community, this text can be useful for other types of meetings, such as meetings of different monastic associations across the world, or sessions of formators.
The various themes of this mirror are especially relevant today: community, authority, formation, work, financial autonomy, relationship to society. The members of the International Team, who regularly visit communities in all the continents, know how relevant these questions are for daily life. Many situations have become stagnant and need a return to the primitive vision and above all a deeper commitment of every member of the group and of the community as a whole. The ‘Mirror’ attempts to make its modest contribution to this.
Obviously this document is not to be taken too literally. In some way every community, every group which uses it must re-write it to make it a text useful for the community or group. The ball is in the court of the community. Nevertheless, the international team of the AIM is at the disposition of those who want help in their reflection and use of this ‘Mirror’.
To set the ball rolling we put forward a lectio divina, written by Abbot Jean-Michel Grimaud of Landévennec on the theme of brotherhood. There are also sections on Liturgy, Witnesses to Monastic Life, History and some echoes of recent news.