Scriptural Foundation of Becoming a Brother
The Congregation of Alexian Brothers derives its scriptural foundation from Acts of the Apostles, that is, "they had all things in common and distribution was made to each one according to each one's needs." (Acts 4:32,35). We strongly believe that our life of Brotherhood is fundamentally expressed in living in Community. We Brothers choose to share our life together because we believe that living in community can shatter the walls of individualism and isolationism that are so prevalent in our broken world. We also choose to embrace the apostolic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in order to give witness to the the reign of God.
As Brothers, we could make a selfish choice, we could live separate autonomous lives apart from each other. But we choose to live in the"graced margin" of community, because we believe that it is in this graced margin that God can truly dwell in our midst. We believe that it is primarily through God's guidance that we can find our strengths and grace in this life. The Brothers recognize their need to cooperate with God's grace in the process.The Brothers, therefore, make genuine efforts to be accepting of one another, to be reverencing and forgiving of one another because we have embraced our own limitations. We are empowered by the knowledge that our community need not be perfect. We just have to be faithful to our struggles to live in dignity and with compassion for our Brothers in the face of our own humanity.
In Community living, we highlight prayers, Eucharist and meal times together. These are not simply attempts to form a checklist spirituality. Rather these are conscious efforts to come together for God's sacramental action. We believe that it is in the encounter of persons, in the breaking of the bread during meals and participation in liturgy, that we can grow into a deeper knowledge and acceptance of one another. Most often, we find these encounters to be blessings, We truly find goodness in the other person and find friendship with our Brothers in the process.
Lastly, we strive to live in community because we believe that it is in this context that we as religious can find God in our lives. Just as married couples find their source of grace in their relationship with one another, we the Brothers believe that it is only within the confines of community life that we will find our salvation. We enrich this environment when we become conscious of the common thread that binds us together, that is, the vows that we made to God during our profession. We also find ways of improving our community living, both locally and provincially, by highlighting God's grace and by helping each other to be focused and single-minded. It is only when our hearts are centered on God that we will continue to celebrate the joys and blessings, as well as, the pains and struggles of one another.