By Fr. Herb Schneider, BCBP Spiritual Director
Our spirituality is the way we live for God in response to what he has done in and for us. It is expressed in particular actions and practices which are intended to lead us closer to God and to serve him. These actions and practices are shaped, first of all, by the things revealed by God himself, secondly, by the norms and traditions that have developed in the Church, and thirdly, by the specific call that God has given to us.
Because it is shaped by God’s revelation and Christian teaching our spirituality is:
1. Creedal and Orthodox
The creed expresses what is most central or foundational in our Christian faith. We pray to the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. We are orthodox rather than liberal, traditional rather than traditionalistic, open to renewal.
2. Scriptural and Christ-centered
The Word of God in scripture forms and guides our lives. Above all, we encounter Christ, the Word of God, in the Bible. We read and study the Bible in the school of the Fathers and the liturgy.
Because it is lived within the life of the Church our Spirituality is:
3. Liturgical and Sacramental
The liturgy, especially the Eucharist, is the “source and summit” of our Christian life. We draw life from the Church’s liturgical seasons and celebrations. We avail of other liturgical resources, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, and the liturgical devotions to Mary and the saints.
4. Missionary and Neighbor – Oriented
Like the whole Church, we too are called to be witnesses, in word and in deed. We evangelize in our various milieus and especially in the marketplace and the professions, and are willing to be sent to other places to evangelize (work on mission teams). We especially desire to see other business people and professionals receive what we ourselves have received from the Lord. Love of God and love of neighbor are inseparable, and we endeavor to do both in all aspects of our life.
Because we have been given a specific call and mission, and have received certain charisms from the Lord, our spirituality emphasizes:
5. Living in Committed Relationships in Community
We live in our BCBP chapter communities in committed relationships with other Christian brothers and sisters. We support one another, not only in our spiritual life, but in all aspects of life. We participate actively and lovingly in community events, and are faithful to the practices developed by our BCBP community.
6. Radical Discipleship
We have given our lives fully to God, and we radically follow our Lord Jesus Christ. We express our discipleship in a day-to-day way, endeavoring that all that we are and do might be for the glory of God and might bring about what we say in our visions and mission statement: It is our aim to bring Christ into the marketplace and to win the marketplace for Christ. We do this for the glory of God and to advance God’s kingdom.
7. The Charismatic Dimension of Christian Life
Because we have received in our own lives the “grace of Pentecost”, we experience God’s presence in his spirit in an ongoing way. Our whole lives – including our prayer and worship – are empowered by the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to live our Christian lives well, and who equips us for service and mission.
8. Being Lay People in the Church and in the World
Our tasks as lay people in the Church are different, though no less important or necessary, from those of priests, monks or religious. In the midst of the busyness of daily life, going about our duties and responsibilities in society, we wish to be good and faithful disciples of the Lord. Being in the world, but not of it, we want to contribute that this world would become more and more fully the Kingdom of our God and of his Christ.
9. Ecumenical Convergence
We have been called by the Lord to bring him into the marketplace and into the professions. We need to live our life and handle our breakfasts and other evangelistic events in such a way that non-Christians, non-Catholics, lapsed Christians, in short all who are searching for the Lord, may feel welcome and at home. Thus we seek to live our Christian life in a way that will further the unity of God’s people. We are guided by the ecumenical instructions of the Catholic Church.
On October 3-5, 2008, Fr. Herb conducted the National Leaders Retreat at the Retreat and Formation Center in Tagaytay. 180 BCBP national leaders, chapter and outreach heads reflected and discussed the myriad aspects of what is expected of a BCBP member in terms of hi9s/her spirituality, in response to Fr. Herb’s talks on Christian Spirituality and Our Spirituality, Christian Truth and Spirituality, Spirituality Lived Within the Church, and Our BCBP Spirituality as a Specific Call and Charism. Because of its continuing relevance to the BCBP Way of Life today, we share with you Fr. Herb’s synopsis of these discussions that he gave during the 2008 NLR as a closing overview of our BCBP Spirituality. This article was first posted on this website in July 2015; we repost it to refresh everyone’s memory of what the BCBP spirituality really is. –Editor