The other night, I hosted a potluck for the fledgling faith-sharing group forming here in Central New Jersey. The foods were as eclectic as we are: I offered a pasta and eggplant dish my husband had prepared; G., who grew up in Ecuador, brought plantain empanadas he had spent hours preparing; P. brought desserts in the style of her native Paraguay; our parish priest brought a Key Lime pie; and A. brought a scrumptious walnut cake prepared by his wife. A young professor of Italian from Florence joined us late and enjoyed all our goodies.
A year ago, I didn’t know most of these folks. Now here we were, gathered to share a meal, watch a short movie about AIDS in Uganda, and talk about how Christ can help us realize there is more to our lives than the sum of our problems.
Christ shows Himself through the people we encounter, including my new friends in the Communion and Liberation movement. I learned about Communion and Liberation (CL) from reading on this blog about Webster’s enthusiasm for this lay ecclesial movement. I am not a fan of joining groups and it took me a long time to attend a School of Community, CL’s weekly catechesis. CL’s purpose is “the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life.”
I have a long way to go. I am by far the oldest member of the School of Community and consider myself the least mature spiritually. It’s a tribute to the Holy Spirit that I have learned so much from folks 10, 20, or more years younger than me. The biggest thing I have learned so far from these new friends is how much I have engaged in dualism—considering my religion as over here and the rest of the world, which rarely matches my ideals, as over there. I am learning Christ infuses our entire world, not just the sheltered world of parish life or my own private prayers and thoughts. This insight has made me much less harsh in my judgments of others. I am learning we’re all redeemable, even me.
Anyway, back to that potluck. As I tidied up from the gathering, I considered what varied paths led me and my CL friends to this place and time. How good God is to put before me friends who help me journey toward my destiny.
Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor.
If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man!
For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up.