The Importance of Christian Community

Friends In Christ:

In Mark 6:7 we are told Christ sent the apostles out 2 by 2.

Pope John Paul II taught us in his writings “Christifideles Laici (The Lay Members of the Christian Faithful)” that the Church as communion is the “living context” of the laity’s mission and responsibility. We also learn that the Church is Christ’s body, in which each member has a special role.

The Cursillo method is communal. That is to say it is a method which does not leave one alone in one’s search for the truth. One can and should feel at one’s side – or better yet, deep inside one- the presence of Christ which comes from communion and friendship with one’s brother and sisters.

“Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Mt. 18:20 (FICM 169).

It is said of Cursillo that we hold the Three Day Weekends to get people into group reunions and Ultreya on the 4th Day.

For the benefit of my readers who have not made a Cursillo weekend or one of the other weekends in the Protestant churches like Walk to Emmaeus or Via De Cristo, let me define three of the key terms in these movements. Also for the benefit of those who have made one of these weekends,we all need to be remindedof the importance of community.

Friendship Group Reunion: These are small groups of friends with whom we meet

weekly to share the lives we individually leas as Christians

Ultreya: If Friendship Group Reunions oversee the good of the individual, than the

Ultreya oversees the good of the community. Ultreyas are usually held monthly and

they are the coming together of all of the Friendship Group Reunions that make up the

entire community.

Fourth Day: For those of us who have experienced the 3 Day Cursillo or the other

similar weekends we refer to the balance of our lives after the 3 Day weekendas our

Fourth Day. That is why these letters I write are called 4th Day Letters.

I have long enjoyed hiking. I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the country to hike especially this time of the year, the Carolina mountains. I usually hike alone. While I enjoy the solitude of hiking alone, I must admit there are times that I observe such spectacular beauty that I just wish I had someone with me to share it with. My wife often worriesthatmy hiking alonemay result in danger (bears, snake bites, etc.) orthat Imight get hurt and shehoped I had someone hiking with me. So whether it be joy or danger, we humans often just need another to share with.

Can you imagine a wedding with no guests? On that very special day when we are over-overjoyed, we simply need others to share our joy with. Can you imagine handling the death of a loved one or friend alone? At the most difficult times in our lives we need others to help us getthrough. We are by our God designed nature, communal people.

As part of the body of Christ, we must recognize that if we do not attend aGroup Reunionor if we miss an Ultreya, not only do we miss the benefit of hearing what others have to share, but we miss the opportunity to share back the Christ that is in us. God may be calling us and giving us the exact right thing to share with someone who is hurting or to share in someone’s joy, and when we are not there they lose a benefit that God had planned for them through our presence.

I count the hundreds of you receiving this email among my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope that by my weekly sharing of my experiences on my 4th Day journey it in some way enhances your walk with and joy of the Lord.

To that end I enjoy your feedback. Please take the time to reply each week and let me know your thoughts about my writings. Also, please forward this email to others who might also benefit from it.

Together we are the Church! Together we are the body of Christ! Together we can share in each others joy and sorrow. Together we can be Christ for each other. Together we can live as our God intended. Amen.

Questions:

  • Have there been times on your Christian journey when you have been so overjoyed with Christ’s love and joy that you just had to share it with others?
  • Have there been times on your Christian journey where you experienced pain or sorrow so profound you just needed the comfort of a Christian friend?
  • Have there been times on your journey when you selfishly found reasons to miss a weekly Group Reunion or a monthly Ultreya thereby denying others in the group the Christ that is present in you?
  • Are you willing right now to recommit to Christ to be more faithful in your attendance at both Group Reunion and Ultreya?
Brian Pusateri

Brian Pusateri

Brian is a Christian author and speaker. Brian, a lifelong Catholic, felt his life was forever changed when God spoke to his heart while attending an eight day silent Christian retreat in November of 2011. Soon after that retreat Brian founded 4th Day Letters and Broken Door Ministries. With the God inspired message of mercy and unconditional love that was placed on his heart during that retreat, Brian has been impacting others all over the country and around the world with his weekly letters, his talks, and his all day Christian retreats. Brian’s life was again impacted in a very dramatic way when his eyesight suddenly became permanently impaired due to a diagnosis of Multiple Scleroses (MS) in June of 2014. This health challenge has only served to draw Brian closer to God and bolster the importance of this timely yet ageless message.
Brian Pusateri

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