Monday, April 25, 2005

Connectedness

A fragmented life like ours, must, for its wholeness be connected to something greater than the fragment. Looking at man’s physical existence, man has to connect himself to the air by breathing. Breathing the air makes him whole physically; to refuse to breathe is to disintegrate. Although man uses air, he cannot consume it, neither can he posses it. Air is not terminal with man’s death; it outlasts man.

Man is more than physical entity; has moral, spiritual existence that must be connected to someone greater than man’s total life. He needs to connect himself to the Absolute Spirit—God.

Just as breathing is a necessary connection to the air for physical wholeness, so also praying is a necessary connection to God for spiritual wholeness. Breathing is not an option; neither is praying an option. Not to pray is to disconnect oneself from the power-line of God. “Without me you can do nothing.”

Praying is an obligation and a privilege; it can be done alone in private, anywhere and anytime. But praying alone is not enough; it should be done together with the community of believers, in a sacred place like the Church.

Air is anywhere, but in some places it is concentrated, in other, less. I believe that Christ’s presence is anywhere too by His power of creation and by His Lordship over the universe. I am sure that Christ’s presence is also concentrated in the very person who implements the righteousness of God. Christ’s presence is also concentrated in the community of believers when they assembly in his name to worship Him; he assures us that, “Where two or three are gathered in His name, I am in the midst of them.”

The strongest concentration of His presence is found in the Eucharist: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.” (Jn 6:56). He who avails himself to his kind of presence is intimately connected to the divine wholeness.

4 comments:

Jeff Miller said...

Great post and some good food for thought.

http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester

zoilog said...

First time I used blog... I am not sure if I can post any message even if it is not related to the current topic (Connectedness)...

My Message:
Jesus said "I am the vine, you are the branches." We can imagine ourselves as little branches with a few leaves and Christ as the main vine with the sun giving each leaf energy to produce food and the vine distributes life-giving water and nutrients to all the branches. In turn the leaves produce food to feed the rest of the plants as well as to nourish the emerging flowers and fruits. A person's prayer and good works not only draw down graces from God to the person praying or doing the good deed but also to everyone connected to Christ (the whole community of believers and other righteous persons especially to those whom God has put near the person like his family and friends). One's prayer will also bring "light" to a sinner that he may realize his sinfulness and repent. We are essentially responsible for one another. We are not here on earth to save only ourselves but to help others be saved as well. As material goods are not given by God to one person solely for his own enjoyment but to share with others. The same is even truer for spiritual "goods". Not to pray for others is an omission of a sacred duty as witholding one's material goods from the needy is.

Everyone should realize that God could have given everyone everything he will need in this life. But God did not for the simple reason that God wants everyone to share what he has with others. Not to share what God has intended you to share with your neighbor (especially a needy one) is to deprive your neighbor of God's gifts - it is selfishness and a mark of inordinate self-love.

Perhaps this is one of the scourges of modern life - individualism and hedonism.
One would rather spend P100 daily for a cup of Starbucks coffee rather give it to a beggar who would be able to have 3 regular meals daily. One would rather spend P1000 monthly to pamper one's body in an exclusive gym rather than send a poor neighbor's child to school. One would rather buy that multimillion Jaguar or BMW rather provide simple decent housing to poor people. And if one finds it hard to part with his earthly goods to benefit another, how could he share spiritual goods with his neighbor? Can he sincerely pray for a beggar when he could hardly part with his P100 to give to the beggar?

Kate said...

Great post....surely the Eucharist is what connects me (a Catholic in Michigan, in the USA) to you (A blogging Bishop in the Phillipinnes!) in thwe most profound way. Thank you for a great post and for trying to make yourself accessible to the people! Blogging is hard work, because you open yourself to criticism and misunderstanding everytime you write, but it can also be a wonderful adventure in connectedness.

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