The renewal passion of the Recollection

The Spirit of God blows where he wants, whom he wants and how he wants. This statement came true on December 5th in 1588, specifically in Toledo, Spain, where men passionate and moved by the Spirit of God took the initiative to forge a new religious movement. They did not want to put obstacles to the Spirit, and so they left written these words that marked a milestone for the Recollection: “Because there are among us, or at least there may be, some so lovers of monastic perfection who wish to follow a life plan more austere, whose legitimate desire we must favor so as not to put obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit […], we determine that in this our province three or more monasteries of men and many others of women are pointed out or merged, in which it is practiced a stricter way of life”.

parallax background

“The religious who were gathered together could discern that the Holy Spirit moved them to form a new way of life. The expression of this way of life was written by Luis de León, and has as its fundamental basis charity and nothing else. Deep down, what these religious wanted was to live the search for the Kingdom with authenticity and passion. It was not a merely human movement, but a new project embodied in reality, because God is the same as the beginning and motive of this new way of living, “because our goal is to love God, so our care must be principal all that brings us closer to him” (Luis de León)

When we talk about Recollection, we might think that it is a more intimate movement, confined in it; however, it's the Spirit of the Lord who kept orienting and encourages these brothers to whom he gave the courage to set sail in 1605 to the Philippine Islands with the first missionary expedition. Indeed, we find men passionate about life and willing to play it all for others. Thanks to Luis de León, these brothers received that dose of passion and love that pushed them to our paths without any fear, since Fray Luis himself has left it as a rule: from the same “love of God, charity is born to the Neighbor, and the peace of the religious among themselves is a very certain sign that the Holy Spirit lives in them.” It shows here that peace is the community ideal, and is the fruit of perfect charity; a peace that has nothing to do with apathy or inactivity, but is the effort of compression, coexistence, and love. And this love does not want to remain confined to the walls of the newly founded convents, but it has to be a diffusive love that reaches new lands and cultures.     

Summarizing, the project of life is that of a religious order, raised under the impulse of the Holy Spirit and approved by the Church: living in communion of brothers, they want to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient; they seek the truth and are at the service of the Church; they strive to achieve the perfection of charity according to the charisma of St. Augustine and the spirit of the Recollection.

Agustinos Recoletos