Sunday, November 18, 2007

Adhering to Community

I found this section very interesting in reading School of Community (p.93) in light of our revived venture of this common blog.
We can have ideas and opinions that originate in Christian truth, but they are still not the redeeming Christian life. We are called to adhere to and participate in a reality that comes from outside ourselves: the community in which Christ places us.
I am really glad to blog here within a friendship that acknowledges first this life that we are invited to. Our smart judgments will not save the world, but instead "the instrument of the world's conversion is the visible unity of the Christian community." Thus we are back to Fred's insistence on presence as taught by Fr. Giussani.

I was struck by the recent defection of a cloning researcher away from stem-cell research. It can appear that we are not making a dent in such outrages to life, but the consistent witness to the dignity of the human being called by God is undeniable. This tenacity is evidently a fruit of the adherence of the community to Christ living with us.


Dcn Scott Dodge said...

That is what I love so much about Fr. Giussani, he has a way of bringing us back to the event, the encounter, without which all the rest, while not exactly meaningless, is far less meaningful. The other aspect is the requirement to deal with reality, what mystics would call living in the now.

Marie said...

"the instrument of the world's conversion is the visible unity of the Christian community."
I was very struck by this phrase.

"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (Jn. 17.23)

Locally we are facing a disunified church due to various trials of late. In my School of Community we have had some discussion of how to address this disunity. It is really no different if we talk about conversion of the world or conversion and healing and reunification of those already in the church. The answer is still the same: the visible unity of the Christian community... and what is unity if not to live love -- for Christ, and for each other because of Christ.

Suzanne said...

Living visible unity is very challenging! It's one thing to forgive others, to pray for others, to love others in one's heart...It's something totally else to live unity visibly. In fact, it strikes me as utterly impossible without the sacraments of the Church. Without the totally free and gratuitous gift of a power that comes from outside of us, we can cling to others out of any number of motives, none of which will sustain us when we come face-to-face with suffering or privation (the Cross, in other words). It seems to me that the path to visible unity goes straight through the Cross. How many things do we sacrifice and endure to break through to Resurrection and Light? It seems to me that we even have to sacrifice other forms of "unity" -- my own ideas of unity, cultural ideas of unity, my friends' ideas of unity, even my family's ideas of unity (you know that part of the Gospel we heard on Sunday about giving up father, mother, children, etc. to receive the hundredfold...).
With regard to the above, a passage in The Journey to Truth is an Experience that I keep returning to again and again is at the bottom of page 26. It makes me understand that "visibly expressed unity" can happen even when we are rejected and seemingly alone. So, Giussani points out that being in community is not an "exterior getting along" but rather an "interior dimension." This is the mysterious unity I am trying to follow at this time in my life.