Belonging to a Community

Mar 10, 2023
Fr. Michael Schleupner offers more insights about spiritual wellness in today’s post. For more in this series, please scroll through our blog. The posts offer wonderful, comprehensive tools to improve your wellness!
Spiritual Wellness – 10Belonging to a Community
Dear Friends,Belonging to a community of faith – I believe that this is an important ingredient of our personal spiritual wellness. This is an important reminder especially for today.
An increasing number of Americans (and maybe also people in some other countries) identify as NONES. They have no religious affiliation. Some say that they are spiritual but not religious. Additionally, some of mainline churches are having difficulties. Catholicism has been plagued in the last thirty years with a terrible sexual abuse scandal. Almost all Christian denominations have been experiencing tension, disagreement, and maybe division over certain issues, like women priests or ministers, the treatment of LGBTQ persons, etc. So, the above factors and others have led some people to discontinue affiliation with a church or faith community. In the face of this, I believe that this is still important for us. Here are a few reasons.
Our participating in a faith community keeps us from becoming spiritually isolated and narrow. It keeps us connected with other persons of faith and this almost always enlivens our faith. It enlarges our perspective and vision of God, life, and the world, even if we don’t agree with everything that is said or done in a particular church. It leads us to examine what we do believe and find either confirmation for this or a call to examine this.
We Catholics and at least many other Christians also believe that the baptized are the living body of Christ on this earth. Because of that, we find communion with Jesus through other persons of faith, a communion we would not have without this connection.
And that leads me to Communion spelled with a capital C. We Catholics greatly value the Eucharist – Holy Communion. We believe that Christ is truly present in this sacrament and that this gives us a closeness and intimacy with him that we cannot find elsewhere. Belonging to this community of faith, being present for liturgy, and receiving the Eucharist is a great, unequalled blessing.   One last comment. I realize that some good persons of faith look around for a church or parish where the style of liturgy or music or preaching or the vibrancy of the community really touches them positively. This is very understandable today. So, to go back to today’s main point: belonging to a faith community is important for our spiritual wellness.               ~ Father Michael Schleupner
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