Fr. Gabaldon once wrote in his column an article entitled the “We of Me”. He tells of a play made by Carson McCullers’ in which Frankie, an adolescent tomboy, wanted to be a member of the wedding of her brother Jarvis and wants to go on their honeymoon too. She was dissuaded to do that very gently by their maid but Frankie, stubborn as she was, insisted in doing so. She said “ I love them both so much and we belong together . . . because they are the we of me.”
To be with someone, to be in a family and in a community is a need we all have. We all need to belong. All of us have experienced how hard it is to march alone in this world. We know how lonely it is, how dark, how burdensome. Even God in creating the world acknowledged in his wisdom that “it is not good for man to be alone”. And so he made man a partner which the man called woman. And the two became one flesh, thereby completing the image and likeness of the triune God in human beings for God himself is a community of persons.
I came upon these reflection because of three events. One happened last week, the second is still on going and the third is being looked forward to.
Last week a group of grade six pupils sent me what for me was a perfect gift to cheer me up as I picked up my workload on a Sunday. One girl told me “thank you for teaching us the words and teaching of Jesus. I know you have rheumatism (is it so obvious?)” She continued, “I believe you (not) because you have your rheumatism but you teaching us the Lord’s words.” And another said, “Fr., thank you . . . dahil kung hindi dahil sa inyong mga Padre baka ngayon mga masama na kaming bata.” I need a community because I need someone to assure me on my way and to keeep me on the right track - thank you very much.
Second, while I was preparing for our bible class I came upon a writing by St. Gregory the Great which says, “I know from experience that frequently in the company of my brothers I have understood many things about the Word of God that on my own I did not succeed. You enable me to learn what I teach. This is the truth: rather often I tell that which I hear when I am with you.” I need the community because I need to learn a lot from the Spirit at work in and through His people.
Thirdly, the up coming congress which is described as a “journeying together”. I need the community because it this world and in my type of vocation it is hard to walk alone. This communal responsibility encourages me and it makes the walk less arduous, more exciting and joyful. I have you to share my joy and have you to lean on to when the going gets rough. Thank you for being the “we of me.”.