On Being a People of Communion
“Love is to will the good of another” St. Thomas Aquinas
A Presentation on authentic Friendship
On Being People of Communion made One in the Eucharist: Source & Summit of Christian Life
For many youth and young adults who actively participated in intentional communities such as youth groups and college ministries, what endures beyond the events, emotional and spiritual ‘highs’, and accolades is friendship in its truest form. Adults discover this same and unique experience of relationship in parish small groups, retreats, bible study groups and ministries. Although not all have the ideal experience, the many do discover that true friends share in each other’s joys and support one another through challenging times; they help each other grow in emotional and intellectual maturity, faith, virtue, knowledge of self and understanding of ‘the other’. They help each other to become that which they were made to be, men and women of communion.
This “personal identity that is at once an orientation to the other is founded essentially on the Trinity of divine Persons. God is not a solitary being, but a communion of three Persons… no person is as such alone in the universe but is always constituted with others and is summoned to form a community with them. Pgh 41 ITC Communion and stewardship: Human persons created in the image of God
What distinguishes this Christian experience from others is that the Christian experience is rooted in affirmation of the nature of the human person, as created by God in the image and likeness of God. It therefore holds up the choice to love as charity, which is virtue, and aims for authentic self-gift, to love by willing the good of the other. If a so-called Christian intentional community is not so rooted, it becomes merely another social grouping of like-minded folks unattached to universal truth and subject to change relative to the thoughts, opinions and feelings of the group or the group’s leaders. Conversely, any non-religious group in which it is possible for the participants to experience something akin to the authentic Christian experience, do so because of adherence to fundamental truths of the nature of the human person and found most fully revealed in Christianity.
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Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.