Celebrating 40 years of community life

It is difficult to put into words so much meaning during the weekend of July 1 and 2. Yes, it is possible to chronicle what we did in Madrid, but explaining what we experienced there would perhaps be easier through music than through words.

The general tone of the meeting was one of celebration from gratitude, as when one stops on the road and admires the landscape that one has not been able to capture in the effort of the route. With this tone of gratitude, I believe that all of us participants arrived and provided it as a basis for all that we were open to enjoy during these two days. This gratitude was charged with admiration for those who have gone before us, those who embarked on this uncertain adventure of CLC when it was still nothing more than a vague and somewhat crazy idea. Admiration also in making us aware of the listening that our first companions had to put into play from total trust. It is easy for me to imagine Josep María Riera, Aurora Camps, Ysa Muruzábal, Javier Litch, very young, inexperienced, but very excited about what was then just a project. And also admiration for the role that God has played in our history, because He put intention to our origins and has never left us in these 40 years, where there have been lights and shadows, but above all, a lot of learning in community.

The melody was shaped by notes coming from our memories and the current moment that the community is living in Spain. We have grown in organization, in structure, in number of members and local communities. Also in the deployment of the mission, in life and ecclesial involvement, in methodology, in diversity, in communion, in availability to the world, in listening to others inside and outside the church… This melody is catchy for everyone and keeps adding more notes that enrich the piece, in different voices, in different scales, but forming a single common line that grows and becomes more beautiful.

The high point of this melody that we share, for me, took place on Saturday afternoon, when we listened to that melody that we all share in the virtuosity of some soloists who strangely reflected in their solos notes that we can discover in many of our companions and community partners: the dedication in the family, in the profession, accompanying people broken along the way, those who face definitive vital moments, those who discover in creation the simplest and at the same time explicit word of God, those who offer their hands for the community mission. These solos curiously reinforced the desire, the need to incorporate our voices to the common melody and to do it as well as possible, so as not to go out of tune.

All our music was made round and complete with the harmony expressed through the presentation of the local communities and apostolic teams. So much life, so many faces, so much concern for our world, for trying in all things to love and serve and to make what we are and what we have available to those who need it, because our music is not for listening with headphones, it is not for personal enjoyment, but for large auditoriums with free admission, for broadcasting on local and community radios, which can make it reach all corners of the planet.

And the chin-pum put the finishing touch in the Eucharist with the enormous joy of celebrating the commitments of 8 companions who join their voices to ours, 3 of them with a permanent contract in this choir, who trust the Director and put themselves in his hands.

A meeting to celebrate, to give thanks, to recognize ourselves, to feel proud of ourselves and to want to be more faithful to our general principles, from which we leave with the serene joy of carrying in our hearts a soft music that, without thunder, wants to make the world more similar to the way God dreams it.

Belén Santamaría Eraña