WITH the celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints, we are vividly reminded that we are meant to live in communion of saints, since whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not, we are all creatures and children of God who are expected to form part of the people and family of God.
This is made possible because we are first of all human persons, created in the image and likeness of God, capable of entering into a more intimate relation with God and others than what others can do. Besides, God gives us the grace so that we can go beyond our natural limitations to be able to enter into the very life of the infinitely supernatural God.
As human persons, we are meant to enter into communion, first with God, and then with everybody else. That we are endowed with intelligence and will indicates that we are not just meant to be lumped together the way material and physical things are put together, nor the way plants and animals come together.
We are supposed to enter also into the mind and heart of God and of everybody else. Our togetherness is not just a matter of physical union. Neither is it a matter of emotional affinities, or other merely human kinships, whether cultural, historical, social, political, etc. Thus, we have to be wary when we become mainly reliant on these factors.
The communion meant for us is that of the mind and heart. It is a communion of spirit with its corresponding morals that would know how to put together in some organic whole all the differences and conflicts so characteristic of our human condition here on earth.
To be sure, the communion meant for us is not a matter of uniformity. A rich and great variety of differences, whether they be personal, natural, or even moral and spiritual, can be compatible with this communion as long as we know how to handle them.
And that can only mean that we relate everything to God, our Father and Creator, who is the very source, keeper, pattern and power of unity and communion. Short of that, our unity and communion would at best be only apparent, and at worst, false, deceptive and dangerous, prone to be manipulated by our own weaknesses, if not by malice and sin, and the tricks of the devil.
With God, these differences and conflicts that are unavoidable in our life can, in fact, be a strong motive for loving one another more and thus building up unity and communion, rather than a cause of hatred and division among ourselves.
We have to actively build up this communion meant for us by seeing to it that we acknowledge and welcome God in our lives, that we obey his will and ways that are full of wisdom and truth, goodness and love, understanding, compassion and mercy.
He is the one who knows what to do with whatever situation and predicament we may be in. And what is impossible with us is always possible with him. His ways would know how to handle our weaknesses, mistakes, failures and sins. They go much farther than what our human effortsâ€”personal, political, economic, etc.â€”can accomplish.
Of course, we should not forget that following Godâ€™s will and ways will always involve the cross, the cross of Christ, since our wounded human condition needs Christâ€™s cross. We should avoid the illusion that we can have this communion proper to us by avoiding the cross. We need to be ready to accept this reality.
In these times when we see a lot of division, if not a growing fragmentation in the world that is due in large part to the technological developments and the growing population that generates multiplying differences in social, economic, political and even ideological statuses, we need to be more active in building up this communion that is proper to us.
We should not take this concern for granted, but rather consider it as one primordial duty we have, especially today. Since we already know in theory the whys and wherefores, the source and goal of this concern, we need to develop the relevant attitudes and skills.
We have to learn to pray, to ask God always for light, guidance and strength, and to develop the appropriate human virtues to correspond to the divine gifts of faith, hope and charity. This can mean virtues like humility, fortitude, patience, meekness and simplicity, friendliness, mercy and compassion, etc.
It would be good if from time to time, we examine ourselves whether we are progressing in building up communion.Â (By Fr. Roy Cimagala)