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 kinship, 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
efforts—personal, political, economic, etc.—can accomplish.
Of course, we should not forget that following God’s will
and ways will always involve the cross, the cross of Christ, since our
wounded human condition needs Christ’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.