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  1. 1. Community Our deepest vocation
  2. 4. Communion <ul><li>What is communion? </li></ul><ul><li>Communion has its origin in the Trinity </li></ul><ul><li>God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange. (CCC 221) </li></ul>
  3. 5. Communion <ul><li>It’s our highest vocation! </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation , and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.&quot; (CCC 2331) </li></ul>
  4. 6. Communion <ul><li>“ In creating man and woman in his own image and likeness, God created them for communion. God the Creator, who revealed himself as Love, as Trinity, as communion, called them to enter into intimate relationship with himself and into interpersonal communion, in the universal fraternity of all men and women. (Gaudium et Spes 3) This is our highest vocation: to enter into communion with God and with our brothers and sisters.” (Fraternal Life in Community, 9) </li></ul>
  5. 7. Communion <ul><li>From ‘the beginning’ we are created for communion. (Gen 2:18-24) </li></ul><ul><li>“Man became the ‘image and likeness’ of God not only through his humanity, but also through the communion of persons which man and woman form right from the beginning. Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion.” (John Paul II, Theology of the Body, 46.) </li></ul>
  6. 8. Communion <ul><li>“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.” (The Redeemer of Man, 10) </li></ul>
  7. 9. Communion <ul><li>The first revelation of communion is the ‘one flesh’ union of man and woman. </li></ul><ul><li>“The body, in fact, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus to be a sign of it.” (TB, 76) </li></ul>
  8. 10. Family as communion <ul><li>The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. (CCC 2205) </li></ul><ul><li>It is a privileged community and the original cell of social life. (CCC 2206-07) </li></ul>
  9. 11. The Church as communion <ul><li>“ They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.” (Acts 2:42). </li></ul><ul><li>We believe in the communion of the saints </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communion in faith (CCC 949) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communion in the sacraments (950) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communion of charisms (951) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. The Church as communion <ul><ul><li>“They had everything in common.” &quot;Everything the true Christian has is to be regarded as a good possessed in common with everyone else. All Christians should be ready and eager to come to the help of the needy . . . and of their neighbors in want.&quot; (Roman Catechism I, 10, 27; CCC 952) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communion in charity. The least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all. Every sin harms this communion. (953) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. The Church as communion <ul><li>Our highest vocation and the Church’s deepest vocation </li></ul><ul><li>In the one family of God . &quot;For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church.“ (LG 51, CCC 959) </li></ul>
  12. 14. The sacraments and communion <ul><li>Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians . . . &quot;Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn.“ (Decree on Ecumenism 22, CCC 1271) </li></ul><ul><li>Holy Communion: by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body. (CCC 1331) </li></ul>
  13. 15. Communion and mission <ul><li>In the liturgy “the Spirit of communion unites the Church to the life and mission of Christ.” (CCC 1092) </li></ul><ul><li>“The whole Church is apostolic, in that she remains, through the successors of St. Peter and the other apostles, in communion of faith and life with her origin: and in that she is &quot;sent out&quot; into the whole world. All members of the Church share in this mission, though in various ways.” (CCC 863) </li></ul>
  14. 16. Communion and mission <ul><li>“ The Lord's missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity . . . The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.” (The Mission of Christ the Redeemer 23; CCC 850) </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus’ mandate (Jn 17:21-23) </li></ul>
  15. 17. Communion and mission <ul><li>This is a very important missionary text. It makes us understand that we are missionaries above all because of what we are as a Church whose innermost life is unity in love, even before we become missionaries in word or deed . (RM 23) </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders and agents of missionary pastoral activity should sense their unity within the communion which characterizes the Mystical Body. . . . The fruitfulness of missionary activity is to be found in this communion. (RM 75) </li></ul>
  16. 18. Love one another <ul><li>Most of the letters of the New Testament are written to communities </li></ul><ul><li>There is clear instruction about how they are to be community together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Col 3:8-16 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Thes 5:11-15 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Pet 4:8-10 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They were called to unity (eg. Phi 2:1-4; 1 Cor 1:10; 1 Pet 3:8) </li></ul>
  17. 19. Called to maturity <ul><li>We have to learn how to deal with conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is healthy and unhealthy conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to forgive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is forgiveness? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to give correction (Mt 18:15-18) </li></ul><ul><li>What forebearance is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t lead to resentment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t lead to cutting someone off </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Showing the patience God shows me </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. Spirituality of communion <ul><li>We need to promote a spirituality of communion . . . A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us. A spirituality of communion also means an ability to think of our brothers and sisters in faith . . . as &quot;those who are a part of me&quot;. This makes us able to share their joys and sufferings, to sense their desires and attend to their needs, to offer them deep and genuine friendship. </li></ul>
  19. 21. Spirituality of communion <ul><li>A spirituality of communion implies also the ability to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God: not only as a gift for the brother or sister who has received it directly, but also as a &quot;gift for me&quot;. A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to &quot;make room&quot; for our brothers and sisters, bearing &quot;each other's burdens&quot; ( Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy. </li></ul>