The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 27, 2023 - 2:01:06

Facing dysfunction

Katie van Schaijik, May 03, 2015

Suppose you're a doctor and you diagnose sickness in a patient, explaining that it is a genetic disease; his children should all be tested.

What would you think if he responded by saying, "Compared to Jesus, we're all sick."

Wouldn't you want to say, "Well, okay. True. But how is that to the point?" Wouldn't you be concerned about his lack of due seriousness about his health and the health of his children? If his disease were communicable, his dismissiveness would be even more alarming.

Yet, this is exactly what I experience on a regular basis when I point to the problem of dysfunction in interpersonal relationships. "We're all sinners, so everyone's dysfunctional." 

Right. Compared to the Communion of Saints in heaven, all our relationships are dysfunctional. Does that mean we shouldn't concern ourselves with dysfunction?

The other day I quoted some lines from Love and Responsibility that are of such vital, seminal, urgent importance that they bear repeating often and everywhere, especially as we, the People of God, respond to Pope Francis' call to prayer reflection about the Synod on the Family.

I am, and I must be, independent in my actions.  All human relationships are posited on this fact.  All true conceptions about education and culture begin from and return to this point.

There are many defective conceptions in the realms of education and culture about in the world. Some of them are conscious and some not. Many, if not all of us, are operating from habits and dynamics that belie this fundamental truth of the human person. We are unaware of how unfree we are, and how much manipulation we employ in our way of dealing with others.

If we want to help heal the family and renew the culture, we would do well to start by facing that painful reality.