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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spirituality: Text of the Deliberations of the First Fathers (two of five)

We began, therefore, to use all our human efforts and to bring forward our common problems deserving of careful and mature consideration and planning. Our custom was to reflect and meditate and pray over the questions throughout the day. In the evening each man proposed to rest what he judged to be more correct and more expedient, in order that all might unanimously embrace the opinion that was truer and that had been examined and proved by stronger reasons and by the votes of the majority.

The first evening we came together, this question was proposed: after we had offered and dedicated ourselves and our lives to Christ our Lord and to His true and legitimate vicar of earth, so that he might dispose of us and send us wherever he might judge we could be most effective – whether to the Indies, the heretics, or among any of the faithful or among the non-Christians – would it be better for us to be so joined and bound together in one body that no physical dispersal, however great, could separate us? Or perhaps would this be inexpedient?

A clear example of the problem was the Pope’s sending two of us to Siena. Should we have concern and mutual comprehension for those going there, and they for us? Or should we perhaps have no greater concern for them than for persons outside our Company? Finally, we decided affirmatively, namely, that since the most kind and loving Lord had deigned to unite us to one another and to bring us together – weak men and from such different places and cultures – we should not sever God’s union and bringing together, but rather every day we should strengthen and more solidly ground it, forming ourselves into one body. Everyone should have concern for and comprehension of the others for greater apostolic efficacy, since united strength would have more power and courage in confronting whatever challenging goals were to be sought than if this strength were divided into many parts.

Now, in all that has been recounted and yet will be, we wish it to be understood that we adopted nothing at all from our own “spirit” and subjective notions, but only (whatever it might be) what the Lord inspired and the Apostolic See confirmed and approved.

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