Communion in the digital age PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:52

November its liturgical celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, reminds all of us that we are meant to live in communion with one another and with God.

This is an essential and defining element of our human nature and condition. We are not meant solely to be individual persons, but also to be social beings whose lives are by nature linked with one another not only physically, socially or politically, but also spiritually. We are meant to enter into each other´s lives.

That´s how it is, and we need to be more aware of this truth and work it out, because, frankly, this aspect is often ignored, not understood, and obviously not pursued. We would be irreversibly handicapped if the working principle of our life does not include this truth, or treats it only marginally.

As persons, our individuality is not supposed to contradict our sociability and our life of communion. While distinct from each other, they are meant to go together. They can only prosper that way, since one without the other necessarily compromises our life.

In short, we would compromise our personhood, and become something else. We would debase our human dignity, which by our nature cannot be lived passively and automatically, but rather actively and deliberatedly.

That´s why our Catechism teaches that--

¨The human person needs to live in society. Society is not for him an extraneous addition but a requirement of his nature...A society is a group of persons bound together organically by a principle of unity that goes beyond each one of them...¨ (1879-1880)

May this doctrine stir us deeply and cause us to undertake a lifelong process of completing and perfecting our personhood by assimilating and living well the social and communion aspect of our life!

In fact, we are not meant to be social only in this life, but also in our definitive, eternal life. This is where the social nature of our life goes even deeper to reach the level of communion of saints, where we enter into the lives of each one of us by overcoming the barriers of time, space and even death itself.

This is made possible only in God. Through his Spirit, we receive all the good meant for us individually and collectively. That´s why our Catechism again teaches that--

¨Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others... We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head...

¨Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all members through the sacraments. As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund.¨ (947)

There are many aspects of this communion of saints which we cannot tackle in this present column. But I invite everyone to study them on his own. There´s ¨communion in holy things,¨ ¨communion among holy persons,¨ ¨communion in the faith,¨ ¨communion of the sacraments,¨ etc.

These are no theories, but spiritual and supernatural truths that need to be approached by faith, and not only by reason or the senses. Let´s try use all our human resources to go deep into these realities.

Lately, for example, I was amazed to learn new things regarding the digital culture that can be useful to our social and communion life. It´s well-known that many of us get easily hooked into the computer, internet, Facebook, etc.

Someone explained to me that this is because people now fall into a new technology-generated phenomenon, the NIS or the neural inter-active simulation. In layman´s language, people now live in a virtual reality that often absorbs us that getting out from there would require tremendous will-power and effort.

Obviously, there is something dangerous in this new development, but we cannot deny that it also offers us new benefits. The challenge now is how to humanize and Christianize it, so that it can really contribute to our betterment, especially in the area of our social and communion life.

My opinion as of now is that we really need to help one another so that we can develop the appropriate guidelines and norms of prudence. This is still much of a virgin forest to be explored and made use of. The learning curve will have to be experienced. But we should go on with it because it is a good tool, if used properly, to live communion.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 15:19