Blogging is tough. The most important things reduce themselves least readily to words.
This weekend, I attended a reunion of about 250 middle-aged God-lovers who had been members of an intentional Christian community together during our dorm days in the 1970s. Though that community is around in one aspect or another still, most of us are involved elsewhere and living elsewhere now. Those times together in the '70s had been wonderful and difficult; we were younger and stupider then, and more naive; and we thought in simplistic terms because of the aforementioned youth and lack of experience. But there was no question then that God was doing something wonderful among us, and there is no question now that that was and is true.
If you're like me, you've been to reunions for high school or college. You try to look smooth, you mentally rehearse your "bio" to sound as casually successful as possible, and you dearly hope that the cheerleaders and valedictorians will no longer seem intimidating.
This reunion resembled that sort in no way whatsoever. These were 250 people who were looking forward, after a year of anticipation, to seeing people they had loved, and finding out with a certain amazement that the love was still there.
It was wonderful. And God was there. I was filled to the brim with joy and gratitude. Small talk wasn't small, because there is no small talk when it's family. And, in a sense, a family reunion is what this was.
Those of us who were able to stay in town held a prayer meeting on Sunday afternoon together with the "non-dormies" we hadn't seen the night before but are still active in that community today. The Holy Spirit was present in a particularly powerful way. I, for one, am going to have to sit with it all for a while. I think this weekend was non-trivial, but I don't know how.
Genuine community of brothers and sisters in Christ is all too rare. I thank God, not only that I had a chance to live it for a while but that, as I realized in a new way, once God builds something, it stays built.
At the Side of Pope Benedict
2 hours ago