The Spirituality of the Fraternity
As the name suggests the Fraternity is a spiritual union of men and women united in fraternal intercession. The spirituality of the Fraternity is that of spiritual accompaniment: in simple terms, daily remembrance through prayer and sacrifice. Drawing on the theology of the Mystical Body of Christ, as taught by St Paul in his letters in Scripture, we see that all of the baptized are united in a single body with Christ at its head: the Church. Each and every member has a part to play in the life of the Church and it is for that reason they have been given particular gifts which are to be used to build up the Church and strengthen the unity which exists between the members. Implied in this is of course the responsibility of each person to play their part and to use their talents for the good of the whole body.
The baptised who work in the theatrical and cinematic arts are no different from the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ: they too must play their part according to what they have been given: their work must assist in strengthening the unity of the Mystical Body and given the influence of the arts and media today they have a unique role to play in the evangelisation of the world, particularly in the New Evangelisation as envisioned by Pope John Paul II. As they use their talents to this end they also support the other members of the Church and strengthen that unity which exists in Christ. In the light of this unity, the members of the Fraternity fulfil their duty to the men and women of the arts by supporting them in turn for the sake of Christ and unity.
In this spirit, the Fraternity also draws upon the spirituality and teaching of St Aelred of Rievaulx, an English Cistercian who wrote significant works on Spiritual Friendship. St Aelred recognised the spiritual advantage of friendship and saw it as a means of coming closer to Christ, the ultimate Friend. In this teaching, he urges Christians to support each other through friendship and in this union of hearts seek a union with Christ to whom the friendship must be orientated: in the light of this insight, members of the Fraternity spiritually befriend in a hidden way all the men and women of the theatrical and cinematic arts for the sake of Christ. This does not entail any form of contact with those prayed for, and in terms of the spirituality of the Fraternity, contact is not to be sought.
Those who are not baptised are not excluded from the prayers of the Fraternity. As a people created by God there exists between all men and women the bond of a common humanity which has been forged by the creating hand of the Father and entered into by the Son in his Incarnation. While all may not accept Christ or be united to us by baptism, the members of the Fraternity hope that their prayers and sacrifices may be seen as a gesture of goodwill which seeks the good of those we remember. In this there is no desire to offend those who are not Christian or do not believe in a personal God. The spirituality of the Fraternity is one which seeks to create bonds, if not of faith and union, certainly of goodwill and friendship.”
© The Fraternity of St Genesius 2007
Praying for those involved in cinema and theatre