A community must allow its members to live "not according to the spirit of this world but according to the Beatitudes." The community must not be oriented towards itself. Rather, it must be "at the service of this world that God wants to meet and save."
Fr. Philippe reflected on the Community of the Beatitudes, in which he has long been a leader.
He said its calling is "to turn the hearts of men towards the coming Kingdom of God, in a trusting and joyful hope, and to manifest that this Kingdom is already present among us."
"Through the fervor of prayer, the beauty of the liturgy, the announcement of the Gospel, the service to the poor, its members express man's nearness to God and they communicate the consolation of the Holy Spirit," he explained.
The priest suggested that the main grace of the Community of the Beatitudes is to transmit a desire for prayer and an intimacy for God.
"Man is called to things far greater than the universe. Man needs to experience things that will open some horizons far greater than material reality. When life is meaningless, man seeks to fill this emptiness with strong sensations, found either in drugs, sexuality, extreme sports, sometimes even violence…"
Asked how to respond to Catholics who feel betrayed or confused by the clergy, Fr. Philippe encouraged them to look to the saints.
"The Church is still able to produce saints. It is a sign of fidelity to God, a sign that grace is beyond and above sin," he said. "Sainthood should amaze us more than sin scandalizes us; for the former is far greater."
"The Church is not made of some perfect elite, but rather of sinners journeying towards conversion. It is a place where we can meet both man's wretchedness and God's unbounded mercy."
Photo credit: Oleg Zabielin via www.shutterstock.com