The Jacob's Well Community

Glossary

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Association of the faithful : according to the 1983 new Canon Law code, the Church recognizes various kinds of associations. The latter are groups of Christians who share the same goal and agree on the way they can reach it together. Just like civil associations which have to register their statutes at court, associations of the faithful have to be recognized by the bishop to be able to exist and live as Catholic associations.

Bible : the Bible is in fact a real library gathering all sorts of works ( history, poetry, law, prayer, wisdom, etc...). The Bible includes the whole of the books which make up the Old and the New Testament. It is the basis of Christian faith.

Canon law : in civil society relationships between people, groups, people and groups, are governed by codes ( the common law for instance ) which specify every one's rights and duties. Likewise the Church has its own code , the Canon law code, governing the relationships between its members from a legal point of view. It was revised in 1983 in the spirit of Vatican II.

Charisms  : gifts of the Holy Spirit which are made to a person or to a group, when another person needs them, and which are effective for the latter's spiritual and human growth.

Ignatius Loyola : was born in 1491 in the Basque Country. He was a nobleman in the service of the King of Navarre and was hurt at the siege of Pampelune. Forced to stay in his room for months he made an experience of God which led him to a radical conversion. In order to be able to teach catechism freely, he went to study in Paris at the age of 40. There he gathered his first companions. He founded the Company of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1540.

For more information on Ignatius and the Ignatian spirituality : click here .

Jesuit : a member of the "Company of Jesus", a religious order founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1540.

Lifelong commitment  : to make a lifelong commitment to Jacob's Well Community is a consecration to Christ in Jacob's Well Community. This commitment affects the three fundamental aspects of man's acting : his relationship to power, sex and money. It concerns power through the commitment to obedience. It concerns the marital status : a single person, widow(er) or single parent definitively commit to consecrated celibacy. Couples renew their commitment to the sacrament of marriage. It equally concerns money since those who make a lifelong commitment renounce all their goods and distribute them the way the Lord tells them in their heart.

Oecumenism : in answer to the scandal of the division of the Christian Churches a movement called oecumenism was born. The objective is not to convert the other to one's own ways of thinking, praying, reading the Bible, etc., but to work for a better mutual understanding in dialogue, prayer, a deepening of the Bible and knowledge of one's own and others' Church traditions. The goal of all this is the coming of the visible unity of "Christ's Body", that is to say His Church.

Outpouring of the Holy Spirit : this is a personal and perceptible experience that is somehow the consequence of a personal commitment to the person of Jesus and an openness to the Holy Spirit. This experience is usually made within a group that welcomes the answer the person gives to Christ and prays for a renewal and a full blooming of the grace received at the time of baptism.

Sisters of the Cross : this congregation was founded in 1848 in Strasbourg by Madame Adèle de Glaubitz to take charge of youth rejected by society. Its mission has always been aimed at "wounded mankind". Be it yesterday in specialized institutions, or today in local services, the sisters experience the "living together with the less fortunate".

Speaking in tongues : or "the gift of tongues" is a charism that is mentioned several times in the New Testament (Acts 10,46; Acts 19,5; 1Cor 12-14).
This gift helps the person to turn his inner self to God in prayer, even if human words fail to express his praise of God. The individual prays with all his heart in an unknown tongue, but remains conscious of the act of praying (no ecstasy, no trance). The person is free to continue or stop this prayer. It really is the Holy Spirit at prayer within : "he utters mysteries in the Spirit". (1Cor. 14,2). Praying in tongues strengthens and deepens the faith of the person who prays and contributes to his inner unification. This gift is meant for all, not only for a priviliged few : "I would that you all spoke with tongues" St Paul says to the Corinthians in 1Cor. 14,5. It is the "charismatic" gift that is most frequently exercised in prayer groups.
Communicating with God through the gift of tongues is edifying to oneself. At prayer meetings, this praising of God in tongues begins when many people spontaneously join together in a speaking tone of voice, then it gently develops into a plain chant-like sound, all of which seems to bring calmness and peace to the participants.
Occasionally, a member of the assembly will speak out some message in tongues under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. St Paul tells us that in such a case an interpretation of its contents must be given, so that everyone understands what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the assembly.

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Teilhard de Chardin : a French Jesuit and world-famous paleontologist, who died in 1955. His spiritual and mystic vision of the evolution of the universe opened up ways for the reconciliation of science with the Christian faith. Read "The Divine Milieu", " Hymn of the Universe".

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