Friday, July 8, 2011

Building Up a More Human Community

On this night I am grateful that our family is together again, and that our living situation is going to return to what passes for normal in our household. We have come to the end of a small trial, but one that seemed quite daunting when we began in 2008. Everyone in the family has cooperated in their own way to live through it piece by piece, step by step. Cooperation and sacrifice for the overall goal shows me something profound: that our family is indeed a little community. We live more fully in relation to one another; indeed we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The tasks of work and growing up and suffering are things we all share.

We stand together in our common mission of building up a more human community. That can sound abstract and overwhelming, except if we remember that we are called to give by engaging the circumstances and opportunities that our real human life presents for us. The crises of war and peace, the destinies of nations, the world's great social problems, the great weight of human personal pain are complex intersections of the drama of a multitude of lives, and we only touch those who have been entrusted to us. We reach out to all, of course, in the mystery of prayer and the aspiration of solidarity. But because we are beings of space and time, building the human community always means beginning where we are, cultivating the soil of human relationships and fostering the institutions that serve them by using the tools and talents we have.

We do not, however, seek to place limits on God. We seek to make ourselves available to His mysterious plan for our lives, with all of its possibilities and burdens. It is God who gives the growth, and who uses everything we offer for a reality that is ineffably great: His Glory.