The Archbishop reflects on the Spirituality of Communion and Body of Christ
Statement Released: Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The Archbishop of Brisbane, Most Rev John Bathersby D.D., has written a series of reflections on the Spirituality of Communion and Body of Christ.
The Archbishop said it was an attempt to understand the mystery and the excitement of Christianity.
“I have written these reflections out of a desire to keep before us the old and new insights into the mystery of God and salvation,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
“Sadly, down through the centuries Christ’s vision embracing all people and all creation, with it’s emphasis on communion with God and all people, lost its way and instead became narrowly focused on individual life, and eternal happiness.
“Fortunately the Old Testament emphasis on the ‘people of God’ was retrieved by the Second Vatican Council to make us aware, once again, of the communal dimension of salvation.
“I have tried to suggest ways in which this spirituality might be practiced,” he said.
The reflections were chiefly inspired by two well-respected theologians whom the Archbishop had contact with last year.
The first of these was Fr Paul McPartlan, a British theologian, who visited Brisbane in July 2004 and talked extensively on the theology of Communion – the relationship with God and one another.
Then in November 2004 the Archbishop was in Rome for a presentation given by the Greek theologian, His Eminence John D. Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon.
After his speech the Archbishop spoke with His Eminence and asked if there was a book he could recommend that adequately tackled the subject of “how to see Christ”.
His Eminence gently challenged the Archbishop, saying it had yet to be written and that he might want to take up the challenge.
Returning to Brisbane the Archbishop worked quickly to try and synthesise these thoughts and inspirations.
He concentrated on the text, but consulted with Fr Tom Elich of The Liturgical Commission and Mr Rob Cosgrove, a faith education officer with the Adult Faith Education Team, to assist with the images and conceptualization that could best put flesh on the project.
The result is a simple and concise document, printed just prior to Lent, which uses words and illustrations to anchor the concepts of Communion and Body of Christ in our lives.
The document proved a very popular resource at the recent Lenten Program seminars conducted around the Brisbane Archdiocese with Fr Frank Anderson MSC.
The Archbishop has recommended it be taken up by parishes, schools and people of the archdiocese and explored for even deeper insights.
Released by the Catholic Communications Office