February 21, 2016

Envy (ES Meditation), Feb 21 2016

The Scriptures conceive of Christian community in numerous ways. They teach that we are members of the Body of Christ, for example, each of us working together for the sake of the whole; we are, in another image, branches grafted into and nourished by Christ the Vine; the Church is also described as a city, as at the end of the Scriptures; and perhaps most importantly, a Bride. Body, Vine, City, Spouse: these are some of the dominate poetic images. Christian community is also described in sacred Scripture not only by these images, poetic and romantic, but also as a series of habits or dispositions – a way of life. And so, for example, Christian community is the context in which we “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that do weep”, where we “bear with one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ”, where we “lay down our lives for one another”, where “we forgive seventy times seven.” All of this is done in and through the gifts of the Spirit, distributed among the faithful. Father Robert Crouse sums up all of these images beautifully: “We have our unity,” he writes, “in and through diversity. That is the pattern of the Church’s life, and that is the pattern of all true social order: a gracious reciprocity of gifts and talents.” This is true of the life of God in Himself, true of our individual souls and their faculties, true of our life together....

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