This resource was developed with CLC young adult university students in mind, especially those that are seeking more intentional ways of discernment. As can be noted by the titles however, the questions and themes explored are not exclusive to this population. This resource may also be very accessible to young adults in their 20’s.
Here are a few guidelines that may help you navigate the use of the resources based on some common questions:
What is a CLC group?
CLC stands for Christian Life Community and it is not only limited to university groups but is a national and global lay community informed by Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. The three components of CLC are: community, spirituality, and mission. In community we strive to explore our authentic callings as Christian disciples that take seriously our prophetic mission in the world, especially in the promotion of justice.
What does Caminos mean?
Camino is a Spanish word that can be translated as “the way, road, journey, path, or pilgrimage.” St. Ignatius of Loyola is often referred to as “the pilgrim” as he recognized himself constantly “on the way”- both internally and externally. Similarly, we find ourselves also on the journey, not yet “arrived” but constantly growing with God and others as we move along the path of life. We choose the plural form of camino because, while we journey together, we all still walk our own paths.
I’m a first time group leader and I don’t know how lead a meeting! Help!
No worries! The “Facilitator Notes” written with each meeting are your best friends! These notes will give you background to the meeting and give you pointers for how to lead it, including supplies. It will be most helpful to read these with ample time before meetings so that you can prepare for the meeting as necessary. We also highly recommend looking at “Parts of a Meeting” to gain further familiarity with the general outlines of meetings. In addition, being a member in a group first before you become a leader will give you a model for how to run meetings. We also recommend being in touch with your program coordinator(s) or supervisor (s) for further guidance.
Do I have to use the meetings in order?
The meeting order is not accidental! While it may not seem initially obvious as to why the meetings are ordered the way they are, know that there is great intentionality behind them. They have been designed to build off of one another in order foster growth for the individual and the group. From this perspective, we highly encourage the use of the resources in the order they have been outlined. With this said, we also recognize that we cannot predict the needs of your group nor how the Spirit will move. Read below.
What if there is a theme that seems to really speak to the needs of my group? Can I start with that one?
The answer is yes! Groups begin with many different needs and at different places in the spiritual life. If it feels like your group has already spent a lot of time with the theme of “being loved by God” then maybe it will be time to move to the second part of getting more in touch with what stands in the way of receiving this love. The group facilitator may use their best discretion in responding to the needs within the group. We do highly recommend engaging the Spiritual Autobiographies early on as an essential tool in fostering greater trust and understanding in the life of the group.
Can I repeat a meeting?
St. Ignatius highly encouraged repetition as an essential component of the spiritual life. It is often through repetition that we come to deepen our understanding of God’s work in our lives. The gift of Ignatian Spirituality is that it meets the person right in the place and space they occupy so a meeting today will most likely speak to a person very differently than six months from now!
What if I can’t find a theme I am looking for?
We recognize that the themes present are only a beginning and are not exhaustive. You may consider clicking on the various hyperlinks throughout the meetings that will lead you to other resources. You may also want to check out the Resources page for further leads.
Can I use the meeting as a basic outline but incorporate my own reflection, songs, ideas, etc.?
Yes, yes, yes! We hope that you will bring your own experience, style, and wisdom to your meetings! Again, you have a wonderful sense of your group and what it is most looking for. It may be helpful however to ask them periodically if you are not sure. If you find something that really works well in your group, take note of incorporating it for future meeting and consider sharing it with us! We would love to post it with your name on the site to share with others!
“Listening Deeper”- what does this mean? Why are we asked to do it?
It may not seem like a significant part at first glance (especially because many include the same questions) but this actually is one of the most significant parts of the meeting! This part is not meant to take a long time, but it is meant to be a reflection on what has been happening in the meeting for the individual and for the group. As we look back to identify where we saw overlap in our sharing or how someone’s sharing allowed us to think more intentionally about ours, or what is “remaining” with us as we leave the meeting, we are able to identify what was the “fruit” or the “essence” of the meeting is for “us” the person and for “us” the group. When we are in touch with these “take aways,” we might be able to identify God’s ways of working and “teaching” us in our lives. These are often the areas that God invites us to pay attention to more in our overall spiritual and prayer lives.
Why are there “Ignatian Roots” listed on every meeting? Where do these come from?
Christian Life Community is part of a world body that is guided by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits. The Ignatian Roots are shared in order to contextualize the reflection in a larger tradition and community. These may be helpful guiding points to learning more about the Ignatian tradition of CLC.