It’s 2:01 and I’m highly caffeinated from driving back from a gathering of Youth Ministers in Columbia, SC this evening. The Diocese of Charleston hosted a Youth Ministry appreciation dinner which included food that was not pizza, Bryan Murdaugh doing a cover of Popple's destined-to-be-classic, "Youth Ministry in the 80's" and an appearance by Mike Patin which I'm thinking was either a surprise... or I just don't read memos from the Diocese. Also, Bishop Guglielmone gave a really touching "thanks". I sincerely hope that all my friends in youth ministry have diocesan directors/ bishops/ priests like we do in SC. We're blessed.
I get link-happy when I'm caffeinated. But name dropping was not my point tonight.
Like I said, it was a really cool evening for lots of reasons (who knew we all owned real clothes and not just retreat t-shirts?) but this is what was rolling around my head, barreling down I-95 at about 5.7 miles over the speed limit... When I was a Religious Education major at Franciscan our professors, especially Sister M. Johanna, told us it was all about "Communio" (or Community if you're not saying it Italian style with hand-gestures. But try it both ways and you'll never go back...) So, Sister would tell us that it was all about Communio and it is the deepest vocation of the Church in that it is the life of the Trinity-- one God, three Persons in a communion of love-- and in this profoundly mysterious way that I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around at 2:22 a.m., we are called to be in union with God, His Church, and then invite others into that union through our words, deeds and prayer.
You may just want to skip that shoddy explanation and read #257-#260 in the Catechism to get a better grasp of that, but anyways, my point is that we are cooperating with the Trinity.
We cooperate with the Trinity! That's insane. And it's why friendships in ministry are just neat. Over the past couple years I've met snarky girls in their twenties with great hair and taste in music and obviously hit it off with them because, well, they're just like me. However, I've also met men and women who are older, younger, married, religious and card-carrying members of the Donny Osmond Fan Club and even though it appears we have little in common, we have everything in common because at center of it all is that response to the love of the Father, Son and Spirit and our desire to bring this to those we serve. I mean, some co-workers bond over dollar vodkas at happy hours. We bond over sharing the invitation to the eternal love of God with those He created.
I thought I understood Communio in college because I could write an essay on Lumen Gentium. However, sitting with some of my fellow "laborers in the Vineyard" tonight, reflecting on the ways that the life of the Trinity has been shared with the teens in our Diocese over these last few years and what it's like to get to be a part of that... I realized that I didn't really know what I was signing up for when I was 18 and cracking open the Catechetical Documents for the first time... but it is all about Communio.