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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, November 20, 2006
TOWARDS DEEPER PARISH COMMUNION

Last weekend leaders of the various groups in the parish met to reflect upon Pope John Paul II’s call, at the beginning of the new millennium, to develop a “Spirituality of Communion” at all levels in the Church. We reflected upon the below passage (para. 43) from his Year 2000 letter Novo Millennio Inuente. We discerned the appropriateness of basing our efforts at building communion in God in prayer. There was a desire to have a First Friday Holy Hour each month in 2007 to pray for specific intentions of our various groups, particularly supported we hope by the groups themselves. Watch this space. Based upon prayer we can grow in amazing ways as a parish family.

“To make the Church the home and the school of communion: that is the great challenge facing us in the millennium which is now beginning, if we wish to be faithful to God's plan and respond to the world's deepest yearnings.

“But what does this mean in practice? Here too, our thoughts could run immediately to the action to be undertaken, but that would not be the right impulse to follow. Before making practical plans, we need to promote a spirituality of communion, making it the guiding principle of education wherever individuals and Christians are formed, wherever ministers of the altar, consecrated persons, and pastoral workers are trained, wherever families and communities are being built up. A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us. A spirituality of communion also means an ability to think of our brothers and sisters in faith within the profound unity of the Mystical Body, and therefore as "those who are a part of me". This makes us able to share their joys and sufferings, to sense their desires and attend to their needs, to offer them deep and genuine friendship.
A spirituality of communion implies also the ability to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God: not only as a gift for the brother or sister who has received it directly, but also as a "gift for me". A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to "make room" for our brothers and sisters, bearing "each other's burdens" (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy. Let us have no illusions: unless we follow this spiritual path, external structures of communion will serve very little purpose. They would become mechanisms without a soul, "masks" of communion rather than its means of expression and growth.”

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:30 am