P. David Smith
Dear Friends, 01mar07eng
May the peace and love of Our Lord always be with you!
We would like to begin this bulletin by sharing a “close moment with Christ” that Juan Ruiz and Maribel Gomez had in Pantzingo, Michoacan in the Republic of Mexico. Because by pure providence, as we begin Lent which invites us to reflect on our Christianity, they also had an opportunity to reflect on the Charism of the Cursillos in Christianity Movement (CCM), while sharing at a “Methodology Workshop” in the center of a beautiful forest in this wonderful State of Michoacan.
“The only thing we took with us was our conviction in the intimate relationship Christ has in our lives through the CCM. And as we shared this, we found a clear and brilliant resonance in our friends from Michoacan. They conquered us with their affection as they shared part of their culture and their great faith in the Lord of Miracles. Together with the natural environment of the center and in a climate of total friendship, we were able to open up and share the talks; we all cried, laughed, danced and sang together. It was a testimony to the truth that no matter where you are from in the world or your age or time in the movement, the person keeps having the same importance before God and can intensely live and share their vocation of friendship and love of God and neighbor!”
This makes us think about our February bulletin where we wrote about the Mentality of Cursillos being founded on four pillars: the Gospel, Common Sense, Faith and the Person. And it motivates us to expand on “the person” in the light of the Theology of the Body. The person, who is fundamental in living a Christian life, is a human being with intellect, freedom and will; a creature, created by a divine, loving Creator – God.
One of the first meditations on a Cursillo weekend is “Know thyself”. In order for a metanoia, or conversion to take place, we must first start with the person. We take time to remove our masks in order to identify the person. This conversion is ongoing throughout our life. If we do not know our self, we cannot know God.
Pope John Paul II’s, first major teaching project was the “Theology of the Body”. It is a study of how God reveals his mystery through the human body. He stated, “The body in fact and it alone is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and divine.” Feb. 20, 1980
In the Pope’s Theology of the Body, he starts in the Book of Genesis and explains man’s creation in the “image and likeness of God”. When Adam names the animals, he also discovers his own identity. He was looking for a “helper,” but didn’t find one among the animals. (GEN 2:20) Adam is different from the animals. He is not determined by bodily instinct. He is created from “the dust” like the animals (he’s bodily), but he also has the “breath of life” inspiring his body. (GEN 2:7) God breathed life into man and he is an inspired body – a person that can choose. Adam has freedom.
In this freedom, Adam experiences himself as a self. No other creature shares the dignity of being created in God’s image. Why was Adam endowed with freedom? Because Adam was called to love, and without freedom, love is impossible. Unlike the animals, man is invited to enter a “covenant of love” with God himself. In this creation of man, Adam experiences solitude. And Pope John Paul II explains that this “solitude” is defined as his longing to share this covenant of love with another person like himself. And this is why it is written that it is “not good for man to be alone.” In his solitude, Adam had discovered his vocation: love of God and love of neighbor. John Paul II continues that in this solitude is the first discovery of personhood and freedom and it is experienced bodily; “the body expresses the person”. (Oct. 31, 1979)
The person is essential in Cursillo and so is one’s freedom. Understanding this, it is necessary that we strive to seek the image of God inside each individual and by doing this we will learn to respect the person for being a person.
Juan Ruiz and Maribel Gomez confirmed all this in their sharing of the “Methodology Workshop” under a clear sky and in the middle of a beautiful forest in the Uruapan Pantzingo Center.
Let us continue to go forward sharing our friendship and staying united in the center of the Eucharist.
President - OMCC
All Souls Church ◊ Attn: OMCC
29 S. Electric Ave ◊ Alhambra, CA 91801 ◊ USA
Tel: (626) 281-0466 ◊ Fax: (562) 943-2254