Written by JACK
I suppose a number of you are wondering why on Earth do I have a picture of a dining table to the left in this post. Well, I thought I would take a moment to get concrete about one of the ways I try to live out intentional discipleship. In an effort to demystify it for anyone who has read the posts on Intentional Disciples and thought, "I'm not capable of that," or "I don't know where to start."
The picture is of the (surprisingly clean) dining room table in my house. For a year now, three friends of mine from Communion and Liberation (and sometimes some others) and I have gathered around this table for dinner on Tuesdays. Although I am not a member of the Fraternity of CL, it is fair to refer to our gathering as one of the local Fraternity groups. We come together to share our lives and challenges, reflect on our lived experience of what was taught in the most recent annual Spiritual Exercises of CL and to be of help to one another in recognizing Christ's presence in our lives and in following Him.
It all began with desire. One of my good friends returned from his childhood home, frustrated with his experience of community here in Chicago. So on his drive back from Christmas vacation, he stopped by my house to watch the college football national championship game and, I think, out of a true position of prayer (as begging), proposed to me the idea of belonging to a fraternity group. Although, honestly, I was a bit daunted by the idea of committing to another weekly gathering, I knew I wanted more, too. So I said yes. And we both thought of one person to invite and they, too, said yes. Earlier this week, we were reflecting on how it has been a year already and how much (in small and big ways) this fraternity group has changed us. It is now something that I miss tremendously when I am out of town or otherwise forced to miss a week.
There's nothing magic to our gatherings. They are driven, ultimately, by desire (a form of prayer) and a seriousness before each other, a recognition that we have been given each other as a help to one another. And we are given fruit by being rooted in our shared charism as part of CL, and thus, because of its rootedness in the whole of the Body, the Church.
Now, this may not work for everyone. But my point is simply to emphasize that, at its core, it isn't fancy programs, lots of money, big name speakers, etc., that is needed for intentional discipleship. The start, the beginning of movement, is the question of desire. What do you desire, truly?