1: God's Call
1. “Come, Follow me.” It was the Lord Jesus calling us.
2. We were already His, for we bore the name of Christians. We had already been initiated into His church. We had been washed in baptism and confirmed in our belief and given the eucharistic nourishment in memory of Him. But there seemed to come a time when the Lord was calling us to take some further step.
3. We heard a summons to give over our lives in a more explicit way. It was a call to serve all people, believers and unbelievers alike. We would serve them out of our own faith that the Lord had loved us and died for us and risen for us and that He offers us a share in his life, a life more powerful and enduring than any sin or death.
4. It was a call that came to us from without, but also one that arose up within us, as from His Spirit.
5. We asked how we might follow, and we found many footprints on the road. A great band of men had passed this way, men who had made and lived by their vows, men who had walked side by side in their following of the Lord. They beckoned us to fall in step with them. We wanted to be part of the family they formed in order to share in their life and work.
6. This family is the Congregation of Holy Cross, founded by Basil Anthony Moreau. We are a community of pontifical right: men living and working under the approbation and authority of the successor of Peter. We are a religious Congregation composed of two distinct societies of religious, one of religious priests and one of religious brothers, bound together in one indivisible brotherhood.
7. Our commitment is an invitation for our fellow Christians to fulfill their vocation, and for ourselves it is a concrete way of working with them for the spread of the gospel and with all for the development of a more just and human society.
8. We wished to abandon all to follow Christ. We learned in time that we still had it within ourselves to hold back. We wish to be wholehearted yet we are hesitant. Still, like the first disciples we know that He will draw us along and reinforce our loyalties if we yield to Him.
Questions for Reflection on the Constitutions
“There seemed to come a time when the Lord was calling us to take some further step.” I am already God’s in Baptism and Confirmation, but religious life in Holy Cross is an explicit giving over of my self and gifts for the service of the Church and the world. Have I heard a summons to give my life over in a more explicit way? How has it come to me?
“It was a call that came to us from without, but also one that rose up within us, as from His Spirit.” In what ways have I felt the call to priesthood or religious life internally: in prayer, in contemplation? In what ways have I felt them externally: conversations with others, recommendations of those who know me well, etc.?
“We wished to abandon all to follow Christ. We learned in time that we still had it within ourselves to hold back.” What, if anything, is holding me back from living the vocation to which God is calling me?