In line with this year’s formation thrust, focused more on “community life”, there have been lengthy and in—depth discussions made. We tried to understand community living through concepts and ideas, and seeing their applications in our community. We also tried evaluating life in the community, and discover its meaning and relevance. Still there is much work to be done.
Now, I seem to experience why Jesus challenges each one of us “to lay down our life for our friends.” This does not literally mean dying for them, but more on living life to the fullest with them despite trying moments. It also calls us to set aside our own ideologies, biases and even the most treasured principle we cling to, just to accommodate others mind-sets. It may sometimes invite one for some crazy adventures just for the sake of friendship. Regrettable it is when we force our own principles on them and we lose their friendship.
I find meaning in watching television when I have with me people who are sincere, and do not observe my every move, and waiting for my mistakes. Basketball and volleyball games are more enjoyable when you have friends who do not care more about winning than enjoying with others. I feel more inspired to pray when I am with friends who acknowledge themselves as weak and sinful, than being with robots and security guards, who think of themselves as almost perfect.
Community life challenges us the same way. If you force your own idiosyncrasies, thinking that they are founded in ideal and spiritual grounds, you forfeit community living. Instead, you want others to be just like you, and perhaps unaware of it, you are trying to control others.
That is not the case in real life. The community is composed of persons, and thus individual differences cannot be overlooked. And it is never comfortable when people keep on insisting what they want to happen, and different from what you want things to be.
I feel grateful to be a part of this community. Never have I regretted choosing to live this kind of life for the past seven years. I would always cherish the moments I shared with my friends in the walls of the seminary. I am an Augustinian. I want to share to others what I have learned as an Augustinian. fray crecielito palo, osa