As we try to make sense of the mystery
encountered at the limits of our comprehension, even before turning to Christian tradition, we reflect on our encounter. The
closest that we can come to finding words adequate to the experience is to speak of love. Having given our experience symbolic
expression, we turn to Christian tradition where we discover that our experience of the mystery is not isolated.
Christians experience God as the divine source and superabundance of love being poured forth in Jesus of
Nazareth, made effective by the Holy Spirit, and at every moment inviting the believer into transformative relationship…God's
very being, what it is for God to be, is loving, life-giving relationship. God does not just have a love relationship with
us, God is loving relationship.
The opening chapters of Genesis describe
humanity as being made in the image of God. Humanity is a unique locus of God's self-disclosure. If God is agape revealed in relationship, that is Trinity, then the self-disclosure of God in humanity is best found in
the communion of self-giving, love relationships between persons. We are most human, the richest images of God we are capable
of, when we participate fully in relationships of interpersonal love, both human and divine, thereby being in communion with
the living God. As this God is God for us in the economy of salvation, so the human person exists by being ever more fully
toward and for others through continually deepening participation in communion of persons, human and divine.
Within each of us there is an inner restlessness, an insufficiency that impels us to engage our world,
to forge meaningful relationships with others, to exercise our imaginations…Human desire is the source of our spiritual
energy. It is what impels us in our most creative labors and moves us to enter into relationship with others…We are
made for communion, driven into relationship by a deep sense that by connecting with another we might find wholeness…The
longing for the communion we experience with another wells up from our longing for God and offers us a real yet imperfect
participation in the one divine communion that alone can completely fulfil us.
Since an essential dimension of spirituality
is communion of persons, it can not be disembodied. Indeed, spirituality finds
its expression through the flesh. "The body, and it alone," John Paul II says," is capable of making visible what is invisible,
the spiritual and divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the invisible mystery hidden in
God from time immemorial, and thus to be a sign of it."
The most fundamental element of Christian
anthropology is our embodied nature. We come to know the world and act upon the world through our senses. It is through our
flesh that we come to know God. God reveals himself to us in the language of
the body. Historically, it was in Jesus of Nazareth that God became flesh. It was through the suffering, death and resurrection
of Christ--all embodied experiences--that we have been given the grace of salvation.
Communion is the human immersion in the
relational character of the Trinity. The self-disclosure of God in humanity is found in self-giving relationships between
persons. As embodied creatures, communion is not separate from our physical nature but is shaped by and expressed through