Fraternal correction well understood

We Catholics cannot neglect communion within the Church itself, where existing divisions are increasingly being aired by various means.

January 17, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
catholic unity

Whenever the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity comes around, I always ask myself the same question: when is another Week of Prayer for Catholic Unity?

While we must continue to encourage the ecumenical movement that seeks to overcome quarrels between historically separated confessions, we cannot neglect communion within the Catholic Church itself, where the existing divisions are becoming more and more evident. And I do not think it is because there is more disunity than before, but because there are media permanently dedicated to airing them. Because we are in the age of social networks, where fraternal correction has been perverted and has become a back-and-forth of "zascas".

In the best families there are philias and phobias, envy, suspicion and people who, we do not know why, we like or dislike. Also in the great family of the children of God that is the Church, it usually happens to us at the individual level, when we cannot stand the pastor or the sister in the pew next to us; at the group level, when we dislike the neighboring parish, the confraternity across the street or the movement up there; and at the extreme level, when we reject the Church and the Pope outright.

Disagreeing is legitimate, but not understanding that the actions or styles of others can also come from God, even if one does not share them, is not knowing the multiform grace of the Holy Spirit, who blows as He wills, on whom He wills and where He wills.

In the face of the work of the devil (etymologically meaning "the one who divides, who separates, who creates hatred or envy"), the work of the Holy Spirit is communion.

A communion that is not foolish, nor alien to the truth, nor conformist, but understands that the same God manifests himself in different ways through concrete persons.

Working in ecclesial communication has allowed me to get to know the Church, its various sectors, its different sensibilities and to discover the treasure of its diversity. I can assure you that I have seen saints and sinners in all areas.

In the face of those who promote a Church that is foursquare, standardized according to their own point of view, the value of the Christian community lies in its diversity, in its plurality.

As happens in Christian marriage with the spouses, the difference is not an obstacle, it is precisely a call to love, to open oneself to the mystery of the other.

To go out of oneself to discover that things can be done differently, that when we are not two but one flesh we are better because we complement each other, and from this a new life springs forth. This is what Jesus asked of the Father for the Church: "that they may be one"; it is the same thing that He lives in the Trinitarian mystery: unity in diversity.

Differences of opinion should not lead us, therefore, to try to change the other, but to put aside our prejudices and discover what good the Spirit is working through him. What can I learn from my brother? What could I contribute to him? What aspect of my life denounces his style of living the Gospel? How could I cover his shortcomings in order to be complementary? Fraternal correction, properly understood, begins with oneself.

The authorAntonio Moreno

Journalist. Graduate in Communication Sciences and Bachelor in Religious Sciences. He works in the Diocesan Delegation of Media in Malaga. His numerous "threads" on Twitter about faith and daily life have a great popularity.

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