Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thinking About Church in a New Way

There has been a great deal of discussion recently in our Korean seminaries on the topic of spirituality. The rectors are concerned to make the future priest a more integral person not only intellectually but also more human and spiritual. Can we know much more than we know now about living a spiritual life that fully integrates the whole of who we are? The seminary professors are intent on finding answers to this question that will be immediately practical not only for the clergy and religious but for all in the mystical body. We all should be striving for a personal wholeness the Church describes as holiness.

It is in community that the whole person comes to feel what it's like to be a part of a great work. By working together, we have access to special nourishment that will help us to work with joy and a sense of mission. Pope Benedict indicated that "lay people are not merely the clergy's collaborators, but rather share in the responsibility of the Church's ministry." When this is not understood, we have the beat of the drum but no one walking the beat.

Since we are all part of the mystical body the Church wants us all to feel we belong to that same Body. That we are members of this Body is a truth of faith but many who feel they are the less noble parts of the body do not have this feeling of belonging and consequently, lack the passion and joy for the work. When this feeling of belonging is experienced, and this gift is willingly and gratefully accepted, there is a change in attitude: persons act from conviction, and experience being partners in the work of discipleship.

This moment of real change will come when we begin living our belief that we are all one in Christ, all called to holiness, all offering the Mass together. Only when we gather together and work for the kingdom in a spirit of partnership will we experience what St. Peter said, using the words of the prophet Joel: "the young will see visions and the old will dream dreams."

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