What is community.
In NT, it is the communion of members of the Body of Christ
baptismal vocation to holiness.
To live Gospel, to be more effective witnesses.
All from the Jesus through the Church
mediated through community.
Holy Scripture presupposes community.
Live according to the Gospel and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
"Encourage each other daily while it is still today" -Hebrews 3:13
"Encourage one another and build one another up" -1 Thessalonians 5:11
The Lord renews the Church through men and women who seek to renew themselves in the Spirit. To live the Gospel, To be more effective witnesses.
Different from the world.
John Paul II's support for communities
These communities are a sign of vitality within the Church, an instrument of formation and evangelization, and a solid starting point for a new society based on a ‘civilization of love’… They are thus cause for great hope for the life of the Church. —JOHN PAUL II, The Mission of the Redeemer, n. 51
Make yourselves builders of communities in which, after the example of the first community, the Word lives and acts —JOHN PAUL II, Address to Focolare Movement, Rome, May 3, 1986
New communities sign of a springtime.
Covenant community vs a group.
Participation in community activities we grow in unity, encourage each other to love and serve and give glory to God.
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another." -Hebrews 10:24-25
St. Ignatius of Antioch “Try to gather together more frequently to give thanks to God and to praise him. For when you come together frequently, Satan’s powers are undermined, and the destruction he threatens is done away with in the unanimity of your faith. Nothing is better than peace, in which all warfare between heaven and earth is brought to an end.” —a letter to the Ephesians by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr, Liturgy of the Hours, Volume I
Cenacles are the community's weekly gathering to pray, worship and fellowship.
Where Holy Spirit guides, heals, speaks, instructs and moves freely.
We are open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including words of knowledge, tongues, silence, etc. -Cf. Ef 5,19, Col 3,16-17
Song and praise. "He who sings prays twice" (St. Agustin, cf. Psalm 72,1).
Catechism 953 "Communion in charity. In the sanctorum communio, "None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself." "If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."
Many seek community to satisfy a natural need for love, according to the world.
St Leo the Great: Even the most intimate bonds of friendship and the closest affinity of minds cannot truly lay claim to this peace if they are not in agreement with the will of God. -office Monday XXIII
confuse love with pampering the flesh.
But community is meant to purify us. Loving one another is only possible if we are willing to suffer one another as Jesus suffered for us.
"We follow our Lord in readiness to spend our life for our brothers (cf. 1 John 3:16), becoming messengers of a joy that does not fear pain, the joy of the Resurrection. -Benedict XVI>>
Community should be a witness of the love that Christ commanded. To love all, not as we may choose, but as He has loved us, that is with a crucified love. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. -Jn 15:12.
St. Faustina “Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of communal life, for the misinterpretation of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans.”
Love lived in community radiates to those outside. As organs serve the body,
Welcome others called to community
Be an Ark of the New Covenant. The Immaculate Heart.
Padre Pio, Re: his Spiritual Children: “'I love my Spiritual Children as much as my own soul and even more.' 'Once I take a soul on, I also take on their entire family as my spiritual children.' 'To my Spiritual Children, my prayers for you will never be lacking.' 'If one of my spiritual children ever goes astray, I shall leave my flock and seek him out.'
"It is not an idea or a strategy that unites us but love of Christ and his Holy Spirit. The effectiveness of our service to the Church, the Bride of Christ, depends essentially on this, on our fidelity to the divine kingship of CRUCIFIED LOVE" - Benedict XVI>>
Strength not based on numbers but in fidelity to the Lord.
Attentive to His action. How did you begin? What is your history? Whom have I raised up to help in this task?
Like Israelites, like the Apostles, we forget God's actions and revert to our old ways.
What has the Lord taught us? What has he placed in our hearts? Persevere. Remnant.
Sustained by prayer
Benedict XVI, April 18, 20102 “In a meditation of the 4th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and the story of how Sts. Peter and John were arrested, the Pope observed that the early Christian community was sustained by unity in prayer. Prayer was “the fundamental element of the first community and should always be fundamental to the Church,” he said.
Facing persecution, the disciples of Christ recognized that the threat to Peter and John was a threat to their entire community, the Pope said. “In suffering persecution for Jesus' sake, the community not only did not give way to fear and division, but was profoundly united in prayer.” The Pontiff went on to observe that the disciples did not pray to be spared from persecution, but only to be allowed to continue spreading the Gospel.
In their prayer the earliest Christians were completed united, the Pope said. He remarked that “unity is consolidated rather than undermined, because it is supported by unshakeable prayer.” The Church should not fear opposition or persecution, he said, but trust steadily in God’s power.
The disciples sought God’s help, the Pope said, because “they wanted to become a force for the transformation of reality, changing the hearts, minds and lives of men and bringing the radical novelty of the Gospel.”