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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Disappearing Circles

When I was growing up, my social life consisted of intersecting circles. Church and school overlapped, families and Church and school overlapped, parents' social life, Church, school and other families overlapped.

This nice interlocking of relationships meant that people knew each other not merely through the individual, but through families and friends.

Because of the fragmentation of the family and the fragmentation of parishes into NO and TLM communities, these intersecting sets have vanished to a large degree.

A, such as a TLM group, does not intersect with B, family or friends. Or NO C does not intersect with friends or family.

So sad.

The other problem is the reliance on phone, email, chat and skype as well as twitter. Some of my older friends do not even have a computer. So, if I am in another country, it is very hard to keep up friendships. I do write letters.

I can live in a city of 100,000 people of whom the majority are Catholic and never see the same people twice in a week unless I belong to a very small community.

But, my world does not intersect except at the English speaking Mass once a day. Even those who go to Adoration vary, as many are tourists, or people who must happen to be "downtown".

I go to days of renewal with Magnificat members, very lovely women, but they live all over the island and we do not go to the same parishes, so I only see them, perhaps, every two weeks or so, although fortunately, I have seen one three times in two weeks, because we planned meetings.

Such is life that meetings must be planned. No one does what use to happen in Sherborne or Petersfield thirty years ago, when we all bumped into each other not only at Mass, rosary, or for tea, but at the green grocers or bakers, and so on.

I truly miss the old days when people popped in with their children or dogs....walking either about in the town, and stopping by to say hello.

These days seem to have faded into a romantic history of small communities.

Now, we are separated by work, dysfunctional families, distances. This loss of community weakens the Church.

Personally, I put a large blame on the working wife syndrome, which was forced by many social factors, but also produced by greed for the things of this world. Simplicity of lifestyle became unpopular, as people's perceived needs grew to the point where two incomes seemed necessary.

I pray that the majority of my readers have community and if not, are podding.

Isolation may interfere with some people's ability to keep the Faith in the coming darkness.

God shows us the way, in His Church and through the Trinity. We cannot live in separation from others in the Faith.

Pray for community, now.