Only posts tagged with: Misperception | Display all
Aug. 6, 2012, at 12:54pm
When I just had two (and then three, and then five..) little kids, we lived in Barcelona. Expatriate life was plenty challenging, and I had not been raised to suffer in silence (What? Then how are people supposed to know you're suffering?).
But I began to notice something odd. People admired me and looked askance at my husband. (He took to calling us Saint Dev and Mad Max.)
Now, I might not have minded (which goes to show how saintly I really am) if they had admired me for my talents or beauty or intellect. But it wasn’t that. They saw that I had “a lot” of kids—in Spain three counts officially as a “familia numerosa” and gets you a 15% discount on the subway—
and that I spent a …continue reading
And Samwise, thank you for that link! As always for us, Wojtyla's thought is seminal. He nails the key right in the beginning:
The Acting Person does not contain a theory of community, but deals only with the elementary condition under which existence and activity “together with others” promotes the self-fulfillment of the human being as a person, or at least does not obstruct it.
This, in a nutshell, is the difference between sound and dysfunctional community. Wholesome communities promote the the self-fulfillment of the human being as a person; dysfunctional communities tend in practice to subordinate the individual to the whole.
Jul. 31 at 12:49pm | See in context
Samwise, I wish Fr. Bob had time for conversations like that. On the other hand, I'm not sure he and I see eye to eye on the subject. My sense of the wrong and dysfunction of the convenant communities is (unless his view has changed in recent years) very different from mine.
Jul. 31 at 12:41pm | See in context
Rhett, I, too, noticed that point of Jacques Maritain's, in his introduction to Raissa's Journal. It's come to mind often. He remarks in the same place that even if the initiative dies on the vine, often the friendships it engendered abide. I love that thought, and I have found it to be true in my own experience.
I agree completely that the deepest kind of interpersonal communion cannot be forced. Forced intimacy is one of the mistakes the Covenant Communities made.
One of the things I admire in Newman's description of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, as he understood it and brought it to England, is his unapologetic adoption of the principle of affinity. New members would be admitted on the basis of the other members' sense that they were a good fit for the community.
Of course that principle would have to be guarded against the problem of elitism. How do we limit ourselves and safeguard our specific identity without becoming elitist?
Jul. 31 at 12:35pm | See in context
Also, Katie, I highly recommend bringing this subject up with Fr. Bob Oliver! I heard the superior of his order last evening in Minnesota: Br. Ken Apuzo. His order is all about community for both religious and lay members. Brotherhood of Hope and www.ccredeemer.org
Jul. 31 at 12:30pm | See in context
Wojtyla's The Person: Subject & Community sheds a bit of light on this topic http://www.crisismagazine.com/1994/the-person-subject-community-the-second-of-three-installments-of-one-of-wojtylas-most-important-essays
His points about the differences between personal participation vs. alienation are crucial to understanding community.
Yep, unfortunately, suffering is shared along with bearing fruit over time--but it is worthwhile
Jul. 31 at 11:41am | See in context
None of these communities can be forced and a fortiori the community of the heart. In my experience as a Catholic school teacher, (I judge Catholic Schools to be a community of spirit) I find it absolutely counterproductive when the powers that be try to force the teachers and the students in to a community of heart. This can be encouraged but never forced.
Lastly I would note that religious communities should not be seen too quickly as embodying communities of heart. I was in the Society of Mary (Marianists) for nine years. I love the Society and its mission but, as Katie noted with her college experience, flawed human nature is very much operative there too, sometimes in spades!
Jul. 31 at 10:46am | See in context
Katie and Stellatum
Your yearning for the richness of the kind of community experience you had for a period in college reminds me of a comment by Jacque Maritain regarding the study circles he and Raissa had established in France. WW2 broke up the gatherings and Jacque saw this as an example of the fact that “the Holy Spirit is not at work only in the durable institutions which go on for centuries, He is also at work in ventures which vanish overnight and must always be started afresh.”
Regarding communities of deliberate intention, I think it is helpful to differentiate three different kinds of communities: communities of work, e.g. a construction crew building a house. Here just a minimum level of cooperation is needed. Second, there is the community of spirit. Here we have individuals cooperating to create something worthwhile for human kind, e.g. the development of an art museum or philosophical study club. The third type of community is the community of the heart. Here we have the profoundest sharing and enrichment.
Jul. 31 at 10:45am | See in context
I agree about academic institutions being the best cases available. I think it's something about there being a shared endeavor, plus geographical proximity.
We really miss the comaraderie of college and grad school and professional life in academia.
I guess I'm not ready to give up yet, though, on the possibility of something emerging in the extra-academic world—something that takes due account of all that's been learned through trial and error over the last couple centuries.
Jul. 30 at 4:53pm | See in context
Thanks, Katie. I, too, have been preoccupied with this question for the past 25 years, and I've taken note of communities gone bad, as well as a few successful ones. I really have to conclude that communities, like happiness, have to be a side effect of something else, and not, well, "intentional." Another thing I've been watching for 25 years is how Catholic families keep their grown kids Catholic--or how they lose them--and I've concluded that the ones who succeed are the ones who have had larger communities for their children to grow out into when the family is no longer enough.
The best "something else" for a Catholic community to arise from, besides a religious order and its charism, seems to be academic endeavors: Catholic homeschool co-ops and small Catholic schools and colleges. It's why we sent two daughters to Trivium School, even though they could only come home on weekends. It's why we've encouraged our older kids to take on debt if it's the only way they can get a Catholic liberal arts education that won't even get them a good job when they graduate. It's the best we can do, but we're still starving.
Jul. 30 at 4:45pm | See in context
I should be done with the editing by the end of August, so I hope it will be out (as an e-book) soon after that.
Jul. 27 at 9:13pm | See in context
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