See also: Movements  and L.C. Community

There are two articles below.

Communion and Community
     Fr. Jordi Rivero, 4-8-2015

A Longing of the Heart

The deepest longing of our hearts is for communion: to be known, understood and loved and to know, understand and love others. We long communion because God, who IS communion of persons, created us in His image, to be one with Him and with our brothers and sisters.  

Christ the Beloved

Our primary desire is for communion with someone who can fulfill our deepest longing; someone who, knowing our brokenness and ugliness, still loves us and treasures us; a person with whom we can be who we are and who helps us to heal and to develop to our full potential; a person who can quench our thirst for love, truth and understanding. This person is Christ. Any other relationship, if not rooted in Christ, will prove to be insufficient. Our wounds and sinfulness, as well as those of others, blocks communion from going deep. Our soul longs for the perfect love that is God.

Let Go of Our Control

Having heard that Christ loves us is not enough. We need to respond and enter the experience. It is true that He loves us even before we respond, but unless we do, He cannot take possession of our lives. Then communion with Him is impossible. A man cannot marry a woman, no matter how much he loves her, unless she responds.  Jesus the Groom is waiting and thirsting for our love. 

We could think that responding to the perfect Lover is easy. We may even think that we are responding when we are only giving him a token. The problem is that we are afraid of surrendering our control even to Him. We are afraid of a lover so radical that He dies on the Cross. We fear that He may take us there. Like Peter, we believe we love Him with all our hearts but, when we are tested, we distance ourselves from Him. 

Christ is Head and Body

Communion with Christ cannot exist without communion with His Body. "If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20). When Christ is our life we see Him in each person and in the community. It is in only in communion with others that we can go deep and discover the truth about ourselves, be forgiven and healed.  

Family and Church

The first community where God places us is our family. St. John Paul II called it the "domestic church". It is primarily in our family that we are known, understood and loved, thus finding communion and developing into mature persons. However we also need a bigger spiritual family to grow to fullness in Christ. That community is the Church, the Body of Christ, the source of life for all families. Without the Church the family is impoverished and succumbs to the world.

Covenant Communities
     (Also see Movements)

Covenant Communities are part of the "ecclesial movements" of the Catholic Church which, according to Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), have a history dating back to the IV Century. The movements seek to live "an integral form of Christianity, a Church that is obedient to the Gospel and that lives by it" -Cardinal Ratzinger, Ratz, EMTR>>>.

What is the difference between covenant community and a group that gathers to pray or to do ministry? Members of these communities not only do something together, they enter a covenant, that is, they commit themselves to God and to each other to walk with Christ as a family, according to the charism of the community.

In community we find communion by opening our hearts to each other to know and be known, to understand and be understood, to love and be loved. This means that we pass from theory to practice and that we can persevere together through trials, joys and sufferings.

The Lord gives each community its a particular spirituality and mission within the Church. For example, the spirituality of the Love Crucified Community is a path to union with Jesus Crucified, to become victims with the Victim and to be the bride united to the Bridegroom in His Passion.

Why do we need movements and communities if we already have the Church and parishes? Cardinal Ratzinger writes:

 The movement to follow Christ in an uncompromising fashion cannot be totally merged with the local Church. ...The monastic community that Basil founded is likened by Gribomont to a kind of leaven: a “small group for the vitalization of the whole”; he does not hesitate to call Basil “the founding father not only of the teaching and hospital orders, but also of the new communities without vows”.  Ratz, EMTR>>>

There is the enduring basic structure of the Church’s life, which is expressed in the continuity of her institutional structure throughout history. And there are the ever new irruptions of the Holy Spirit, which continually revitalize and renew that structure.  Ratz, EMTR>>>

The Franciscan awakening in the thirteenth century probably provides the clearest instance of what a movement is: movements generally derive their origin from a charismatic leader and take shape in concrete communities, inspired by the life of their founder; they attempt to live the Gospel anew, in its totality, and recognize the Church without hesitation as the ground of their life without which they could not exist.  Ratz, EMTR>>>

Pope Benedict XVI told members of the ecclesial movements and new communities:

Down the ages Christianity has been communicated and disseminated thanks to the newness of life of persons and communities capable of bearing an incisive witness of love, unity and joy. This force itself has set a vast number of people in "motion", from generation to generation. ...Today, the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities are a luminous sign of the beauty of Christ and of the Church, his Bride. You belong to the living structure of the Church. Ratz, EM>>>

Cardinal Ratzinger saw the movements as a work of the Spirit that needs to be received with gratitude and discernment:

The apostolic movements appear in ever new forms in history—necessarily so, because they are the Holy Spirit’s answer to the ever changing situations in which the Church lives. And just as vocations to the priesthood cannot be artificially produced, cannot be established by administrative diktat, still less can movements be established and systematically promoted by ecclesiastical authority. They need to be given as a gift, and they are given as a gift. We must only be attentive to them. Using the gift of discernment, we must only learn to accept what is good in them, and discard what is bad. ...the Church has always succeeded in finding room for all the great new awakenings of the spirit that emerge in her midst. Nor can we overlook the succession of movements that failed or that led to painful schisms. Ratz, EMTR>>>

 According to St. John Paul II, "Ecclesial movements’ ...represent a true gift of God both for new evangelization and for missionary activity”. (Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, no. 72).

The Personal Dimension

The light and the love that we recieve from our brothers and sisters that are rooted in the faith and committed to tell us the truth about ourselves, enables us to make our own decisions,  

Becoming a community, and the building up of the community, does not exclude the personal dimension, indeed it demands it. Only when the person is struck and penetrated by Christ to the depths of his or her being, can others too be touched in their innermost being; only then can there be reconciliation in the Holy Spirit; only then can true community grow. -Cardinal Ratzinger >>>

Overcoming Difficulties

We want communion with Jesus but we are afraid of community, yet one cannot be without the other. Community is the body where communion can be realized. But we have all been hurt in relationships and we are afraid that we may be hurt again.  We see community as a risk that may end up proving that the love we long for is not really possible. When community relationships make us suffer, as they inevitably will, we are tempted to run away from it. Them we try to justify ourselves by saying that community is not necessary.

Communities need to foster a strong Catholic identity and be attentive to what the Spirit is doing in Church. Members of covenant communities, like all Catholics, belong to parishes and serve in ministries as their vocation permits.

Likewise communities need to be at the service of families so that they have the support of a body that is living deeply the life of Christ. Family life and events take precedence over those of the community.

Jesus is calling us to follow Him to the Cross. He teaches us that love means to be willing to suffer for others. Yes, community is difficult and yes, we can be hurt, but it is also in community, often through suffering, that we find healing and hope. If we allow fear to keep us away from community, we fall for the lie that tells us that we can have communion without real community. The meaning of community is then diluted to the point that any grouping of persons is called "community".

As the tide of secularism and outright hate for Christ increases, it should become more evident that we need Christian communities where the Lord gathers His faithful remnant, to form and protect us and to make us His witnesses. Pope Francis wrote:

If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life. -Evangelii Gaudium, n. 49

The Good Shepherd, the Sheep and Community

Fr. Jordi Rivero, 5-1-2015. Based on the Gospel of John.

Shepherd and wolf

We rejoice that Jesus is our Shepherd, but we often overlook that He shepherds a flock, not isolated sheep. If a sheep strays from the flock, the Shepherd goes after her to bring her back (Cf. John 10:11-18).

It is in His flock, the Church, that the Lord gives us new life in baptism, feeds us with His Body in the Eucharist and forgives our sins in confession. But It is not enough to receive the sacraments and “go to Church”. Church is not a gas station where we get our supply of graces for a private journey with God. Faith cannot be just a matter between Jesus and me. We need community to be committed to love and serve one another as brothers and sisters. 

The Lord prayed in the Last Supper that we "become perfectly one" so that we be witnesses of His own unity with the Father:

That they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me  (John 17:21-24).

Think of the unity of Jesus and the Father. He tells the Apostles: "If you know me, then you will also know my Father" (John 14:7). When spouses have lived together in for years in a relationship of profound love they can also say, "If you know me, then you know my spouse". Through their love they have come to know what the other is thinking without using words and they are attentive to please the other. They are as if two bodies with one soul. In community we grow into a similar union by the grace of God. St. Gregory Nazianzen writes about his friendship with St. Basil: "We seemed to be two bodies with a single spirit.... you must believe that in our case each of us was in the other and with the other.">>>  St John Chrysostom wrote:

You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body. You are my light, sweeter to me than the visible light. For what can the rays of the sun bestow on me that is comparable to your love? The sun's light is useful in my earthly life, but your love is fashioning a crown for me in the life to come. >>>

As Jesus was about to give His life for us, He prayed that we be one with Him! He repeats three times: "That they may be one". Jesus shepherds us so that we become one with Him and lay down our lives for others. He is revealing a love that, as in the above examples, is only known by the work of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul tells us that the Spirit reveals "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived" (1 Corinthians 2:9). But we must believe it is true and move towards it. That is the vocation to community. 

For modern Christians, the way early Christians were committed to each other in community, seems inconceivable. We are tempted to think that the Holy Spirit would not do the same with us. The result is that, typically, our experience of fellowship at Church is superficial. We have friends in Church; we may try to be polite on the way in and out of worship; we may even participate in a church group or ministry, but do we really believe that Jesus is calling us to a depth of community where we lay down our lives for each other?

In the Acts of the Apostles the believers were “of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32). Their bonds of union and support were both spiritual and material. Community was their way of life. It is in community that we learn to listen to the voice of the Shepherd and to distinguish it from the voices of the world; it is community that He often speaks through others what we do not like to hear. All parents know that it is in caring for others that we are challenged to grow in virtue way beyond what we though we could. We need to listen to what He says to the community if we are to understand the context of what He tells us personally. It is in community that the Shepherd teaches us that we belong together in a covenant of mutual support; that we need each other to grow to our full capacity of love and sacrifice.

The Good Shepherd gave His life each day for the sheep until he died devoured by the wolves. The hired hand is very different. For him, sheep are a job, not a relationship. He is with them only as long as they are profitable. There is no love and no willingness to stay and suffer for them. 

The sheep can also act as hired hands towards the Shepherd and each other. Do we really LISTEN to Him? Do we follow Him WHEREVER He leads us? Do we love one another or do we view our “ministry” or “apostolate” as a job that we need to do in order to be right with God, without any real commitment to brothers and sisters? 

A sheep on her own cannot be nourished by the Shepherd nor will she survive the wolves. The wolves represent the devil who is always trying to separate the sheep in order to devour them. The wolf works inside of us, in our minds and hearts. He knows and exploits our fears, weaknesses and wounds; he does all he can to bring division between brothers and sisters. He makes us think that we must run away.

In order to overcome the devil's attacks we need to:
1-Live fully our vocation. Otherwise, we become distracted and weakened and then stray. 
2-Know that we belong and need our community. 
3-Prepare for battle, ready to suffer and persevere, united with Christ to the Cross when we feel like running away. We cannot be over-confident and lower our guard. Many seem to be doing great, but when a wound is touched, they feel even aversion to brothers and sisters whom they loved.  
4-Be careful to discern the origin of our thoughts. The devil can plant ideas that appear very real to us.
5-Do not be lead your emotions or feelings. The devil can work on those.
6-Do not change commitments under trial. Wait until peace returns. Under trial we tend to forget all the blessings we have received in community.
7-Break the isolation and talk about our concerns. Do not allow steam to build up. Go to accompaniment. Under trial it becomes most difficult to open up and be vulnerable.
All this takes lots of humility, honesty and love.  

Since the beginning the sheep have been tempted to abandon the Shepherd as the Apostles did. More often though, the temptation comes in a way that is easier to justify. The devil tells us "Stay with Jesus and keep un practicing your faith, but leave the community”.

Do I run away from my family/community when it gets difficult to bear the faults of others or when they have failed me, or do I persevere and give my life for them?

If I have run away from family/community, do I trust in the Lord that I can return and be forgiven? I'm I willing to be humble and return?

We sheep, are also called to be good shepherds. Am I a good shepherd to my family/Community? Do I know, belong, love, give my life as Jesus does? Do I let them know me, love me, give themselves to me?

What are the fears that block me? The wolves are real and we are afraid of being hurt. Do I persevere in humility and willingness to suffer for others? 

We cannot do it on our own but the Lord gives us brothers and sisters and promised to be with us always.

Two Common Objections to Covenant Community

These are objections that we hear sometimes when a person chooses to leave our Love Crucified Community. 

1- “Even if not in community we are still all brothers and sisters"
Response: This is true. All Christians are brothers and sisters. In addition all Catholics are one in the Eucharist. That being clearly stated, we need to say that there are 1.24 BILLION Catholics in the world, so God in His perfect wisdom, calls forth communities within the Church so that each person is in personal brother-sister relationship with others. So, yes, we are brothers and sisters with the 1.24 billion, but we are personally covenanted in personal relationship of love and support with those the Lord has placed in our lives.

There are many types of communities in the Church. One of them is the parish, another is the covenant community. Belonging to these communities is a vocation to be brothers and sisters in a committed personal way, in a covenant that unites us to love one another in our journey based on a vision and way of life. I believe that those who live this experience will know the difference. When the covenant is no longer, we are still brothers and sisters. If we see each other, I hope that we still go to give each other a hug, but the nature of our brotherhood is at a different level.

When I go to conferences, I always experience the joy of sharing with brothers and sisters in the faith, fellow Catholics. Thought we have never seen each other before, we are truly one in Christ, we share all that is most important. Yet, there is no personal relationship. If I speak to someone, I have to start by asking them their name.  I know that most of them I will not see again or only casually so. Therefore I often say, “If not sooner, I will see you in heaven!” 

So, yes, we are all brothers and sisters, but being covenanted in community is a vocation that brings us together as a family. Yet we are not closed into ourselves, at the contrary. One of the signs of a healthy community is that the more we are one, the more our love expands to ALL. We all belong to a parish and, by the grace of God, we carry in our hearts the joys and suffering of the Church and indeed of humanity.

2- “We Must Put Family First"

Again, a big YES!

To be faithful to our state in life (marriage, family...) is a fundamental principle in the way of life of the community. It is clear that the marriage covenant has precedence over community covenant, just as, for wives, husbands have precedence over parishioners. But the relationship of community to family needs to be understood in an organic way within the Church, not in opposition.

 Since the beginning, Christians lived in community and as a result they had a powerful support for marriage and family life. Through the community He protects and feeds both the family and each person. Our growth in Christ through Community (living the Path, accompaniment, fellowship) is meant to bear fruit in the way we live marriage and family life. The Lord constantly teaches us to live our Path in the domestic church, in our daily ordinary life. Families are better if its members have the support of a good community and communities are better if its members are living fully their vocation in their family.

Members of families need to reach out beyond their family. Think of Venerable Conchita, with husband and nine children, she is the foundress of the Apostolate of the Cross and religious communities. It is not easy to give yourself to others so intensely and keep priority in the home. There needs to be constant attention to the proper balance. But if done properly, guided by the Spirit and good spiritual direction, the time and energy given outside the family is not taken away from the family. God's economy is different. He multiplies us when we are generous. Think how blessed was the family of Venerable Conchita thanks to her faithfulness to God's calling for her beyond the family. All members of her family testified that she was an exemplary wife and mother. She is a great model for us.

It can happen that there is a disorder at home and that, when the Lord brings light, there is conflict. Our Lord gives us the grace to bear hardships at home and elsewhere with great love and humility. We do not impose the light that the Lord has given us, we live it, but that may be enough for the light itself may be rejected.

The statements “We are all brothers and sisters” and “family comes first” are true. They are in fact two good reason for being a covenant community.   


Comunión y Comunidad
      Padre Jordi Rivero, 08/04/2015

Un Anhelo del Corazón

El anhelo más profundo de nuestros corazones es vivir en comunión con otros: ser conocidos, comprendidos y amados y también conocer, entender y amar a los demás. Anhelamos comunión con otros porque Dios, que es comunión de personas, nos creó a Su imagen, para ser UNO con Él y con nuestros hermanos y hermanas.

Cristo el Amado

Nuestro deseo principal es entrar en comunión con alguien que pueda satifacer nuestro anhelo más profundo; alguien que, conociendo nuestro quebrantamiento y fealdad, todavía nos ame y atesore; una persona con la que podamos ser lo que somos y que nos ayude a sanar y desarrollar todo nuestro potencial; una persona que pueda saciar nuestra sed de amor, de verdad y de comprensión. Esta persona es Jesús. Cualquier otra relación, si no está enraizada en Cristo, resultará ser insuficiente. Nuestras heridas y pecados, así como las de los demás, impiden que la comunión sea profunda. Nuestra alma anhela el amor perfecto que es Dios.

Soltar Nuestro Control

Escuchar que Cristo nos ama no es suficiente. Es necesario responder y entrar en la experiencia de ese amor. Es cierto que Cristo nos ama aun si no respondemos, pero El espera nuestro permiso para tomar posesión de nuestras vidas. Solo entonces la comunión con Él es posible. Un hombre no puede casarse con una mujer, no importa lo mucho que la ame, a menos que ella responda a su amor. Jesús, el Novio está esperando y tiene sed de nuestro amor.

Podríamos pensar que es fácil responder al amante perfecto. Incluso podríamos pensar que estamos respondiendo, cuando en verdad sólo estamos cumpliendo pero sin poner el corazón. El problema es que tenemos miedo de entregar nuestro control, incluso al Señor, pues le tenemos miedo. Tenemos miedo de un amante tan radical como Él, que muere en la Cruz por amor. Tememos que Él nos lleve allí. Como Pedro, creemos que lo amamos con todo el corazón, pero cuando somos probados, nos distanciamos de Él.

Cristo es Cabeza y Cuerpo

Solos no podemos tener comunión con Cristo. Necesitamos comunión con Su Cuerpo. "Si alguno dice: ´Amo a Dios´, y aborrece a su hermano, es un mentiroso; pues quien no ama a su hermano a quien ve, no puede amar a Dios a quien no ve" (1 Juan 4:20 ). Cuando Cristo es nuestra vida, lo vemos en cada persona y en la comunidad. Es únicamente en comunión con los nuestros hermanos que podemos ir profundo y descubrir la verdad sobre nosotros mismos, ser perdonados y sanados.

Familia e Iglesia

La primera fundamental donde Dios nos pone es nuestra familia. San Juan Pablo II la llamó "Iglesia doméstica". Es principalmente en nuestra familia donde somos conocidos, entendidos y amados, entrando así en comunión y madurez.  Sin embargo, también necesitamos de una familia espiritual mayor para crecer hacia la plenitud en Cristo. Esa comunidad es la Iglesia, Cuerpo de Cristo, fuente de vida de todas las familias. Sin la Iglesia la familia se empobreece y sucumbe ante el mundo.

Comunidades de Alianza

Las Comunidades de Alianza son parte de los "movimientos eclesiales" de la Iglesia Católica. Según el Cardenal Ratzinger (Benedicto XVI), sus raizes se remontan al Siglo IV. Los movimientos eclesiásticos buscan vivir "una forma integral de Cristianismo, una Iglesia que es obediente al Evangelio y que lo vive" -Cardenal Ratzinger. EMTR>>>.

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre una comunidad de alianza y un grupo que se reúne para rezar o para hacer un ministerio? Los miembros de una comunidad de alianza no solo hacen algo juntos sino que entran en una alianza, es decir, se comprometen con Dios y entre sí a caminar juntos en Cristo como una familia, de acuerdo con el carisma de la comunidad.

En comunidad encontramos comunión cuando abrimos nuestros corazones los unos con los otros, para conocernos y ser conocidos, para entender a los demás y para ser entendidos, para amar y para ser amados.  Esto significa que pasamos de la teoría a la práctica y que podemos perseverar juntos a través de desafíos, alegrías y  sufrimientos.

El Señor da a cada comunidad su espiritualidad para vivir el Evangelio y llevar a cabo su misión como miembros de la Iglesia. Por ejemplo, la espiritualidad de la Comunidad Amor Crucificado es el Camino de Union con Jesús Crucificado, para ser víctimas con la Víctima, ser la novia unida con el Novio en Su pasión.

¿Por qué tener movimientos y comunidades si ya tenemos la Iglesia y las parroquias? El Cardenal Ratzinger escribe:

El movimiento hacia un seguimiento de Cristo incondicional no puede ser totalmente fusionado con la Iglesia local. ... La comunidad monástica que fundó Basilio, se asemeja, según Gribomont, a una especie de levadura: un "pequeño grupo para la vitalización de la totalidad"; el no duda en llamar a Basilio "el padre fundador no sólo de las órdenes de enseñanza y hospitalarias, sino también de las nuevas comunidades sin votos". Ratz, EMTR>>>.

Hay una estructura básica y perdurable de la vida de la Iglesia, que se expresa en la continuidad de su estructura institucional a través de la historia. Y hay las siempre nuevas irrupciones del Espíritu Santo, que continuamente revitalizan y renuevan esa estructura. Ratz, EMTR>>>.

El despertar Franciscano en el siglo XIII, probablemente ofrece el ejemplo más claro de lo que es un movimiento: los movimientos generalmente derivan su origen de un líder carismático y toman forma en comunidades concretas, inspiradas en la vida de su fundador; tratan de vivir el Evangelio de nuevo, en su totalidad, y reconocen a la Iglesia sin titubeos como el fundamento de su vida sin la cual no podrían existir. Ratz, EMTR>>>.

El Papa Benedicto XVI dijo a los miembros de los Movimientos Eclesiales y las nuevas comunidades:

En las distintas épocas, el Cristianismo ha sido comunicado y difundido gracias a la originalidad de vida de las personas y comunidades capaces de dar un testimonio incisivo de amor, unidad y de alegría. Esta fuerza ha puesto a un gran número de personas en "movimiento" de generación en generación. ... Hoy en día, los Movimientos Eclesiales y las Nuevas Comunidades son un signo luminoso de la belleza de Cristo y de la Iglesia, su Esposa. Ustedes pertenecen a la estructura viva de la Iglesia. Ratz, EM>>> 

El Cardenal Ratzinger vio los Movimientos Eclesiales como una obra del Espíritu que debe ser recibida con gratitud y discernimiento:

Los Movimientos apostólicos aparecen en formas siempre nuevas en la historia-necesariamente es así, porque son la respuesta del Espíritu Santo a las situaciones cambiantes en que vive la Iglesia. Así como las vocaciones al sacerdocio no pueden ser producidas artificialmente, ni pueden ser establecidas por imposición administrativa; mucho menos pueden los Movimientos ser establecidos y  sistemáticamente promovidos por la autoridad eclesiástica. Tienen que ser dados como un regalo, y se dan como regalo. Nosotros sólo debemos estar atentos a ellos. Utilizando el don de discernimiento, solo debemos aprender a aceptar lo que es bueno en ellos y desechar lo que es malo. ... la Iglesia siempre ha logrado encontrar espacio para todos los grandes nuevos "despertares" del espíritu que emergen en medio de ella. Tampoco podemos pasar por alto la sucesión de Movimientos que han fallado o que llevaron a cismas dolorosos. Ratz, EMTR>>>.

Según San Juan Pablo II “´Los Movimientos eclesiales´... representan un verdadero don de Dios para la nueva evangelización y para la actividad misionera". (Carta Encíclica Redemptoris Missio, n. 72).

La Dimensión Personal

La luz que recibimos de hermanos y hermanas que están arraigados en la fe y comprometidos a decirnos la verdad con amor, nos capacita para hacer nuestras propias decisiones con conocimiento de Dios y de nosotros mismos,

Llegar a ser una comunidad y el crecimiento de la misma, no excluye la dimensión personal, y de hecho la exige. Sólo cuando la persona es impactada y penetrada por Cristo hasta lo más profundo de su ser, es que otros también pueden ser tocados en lo más íntimo del ser; sólo entonces puede haber  reconciliación en el Espíritu Santo; sólo entonces puede crecer una verdadera comunidad. -Cardenal Ratzinger >>>

Superando las dificultades.

Queremos la comunión con Jesús pero tenemos miedo de entrar en Comunidad, sin embargo estas dos realidades no pueden separarse. La comunidad es donde la comunión se puede realizar.

Pero todos hemos sido heridos en las relaciones personales y tenemos miedo de ser heridos de nuevo. Vemos la comunidad como un riesgo que puede terminar demostrando que el amor que anhelamos no es realmente posible. Cuando las relaciones de la comunidad nos hacen sufrir, como inevitablemente ocurre, la tentación es huir de ella. Entonces tratamos de justificarnos diciendo que la comunidad no es necesaria.

Las comunidades tienen que fomentar una solida identidad Católica y estar atentas a lo que el Espíritu está haciendo en la Iglesia. Los miembros de comunidades de alianza, al igual que todos los Católicos, pertenecen a parroquias y sirven en los ministerios según su vocación se los permite.

Del mismo modo, las Comunidades necesitan estar al servicio de las familias para que tengan el apoyo de hermanos que están viviendo profundamente la vida de Cristo. La vida familia y sus eventos normalmente tienen prioridad sobre los de la Comunidad.

Jesús nos llama a seguirlo a la Cruz. Él nos enseña que el amor significa estar dispuesto a sufrir por los demás. Es cierto que ser Comunidad es difícil y podemos ser lastimados, pero también es en Comunidad que encontramos, a menudo a través del sufrimiento, sanación y esperanza. Si permitimos que el miedo nos impida ser Comunidad, caemos en la mentira que nos dice que podemos tener comunión sin  Comunidad real. Entonces diluimos el significado de Comunidad hasta el punto de que cualquier agrupación de personas es llamada "Comunidad".

A medida que la marea del secularismo y de odio por Cristo vaya en aumento, se hará más evidente la necesidad de Comunidades cristianas donde el Señor reúne a Su remanente fiel, para formarnos y protegernos y hacernos Sus testigos. El Papa Francisco escribió:

Si algo debe inquietarnos santamente y preocupar nuestra conciencia, es que tantos hermanos nuestros vivan sin la fuerza, la luz y el consuelo de la amistad con Jesucristo, sin una comunidad de fe que los contenga, sin un horizonte de sentido y de vida. -Evangelii Gaudium, n.49

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