So many things have happened this past week that I have been made to think through this question,
” What does community mean to me?”
For me, I have always given people the chance to change and to push aside my feelings of anger and disappointment when they do not understand or see that the person is giving them the chance, silently hoping they will change for the better. Being in the community has no doubt brought me closer to Jesus,but it has also changed the perception of the community which I can no longer ignore.
My friends and I have been the subject of jokes,immature and sometimes hurtful comments that I do not see the benefit after a long day at school. Yes, I got angry but this is because I have been enduring all this time and I just wish that they would be mature enough to stop these jokes as they are doing more harm than good. Many have been affected and this is not how the community should grow or carry on.
This community to me has been a place where I hope to find Jesus and also make other Catholics who want to find Jesus and to help each other on this journey together. Sadly, this rigid leadership has created fractions and divisions within the community that I feel is making people more distant than closer in Christ. When I started out in this community, I was hopeful that I could find religion again and increase my spiritual growth in Jesus – but I longer feel the Catholic part which is the heart and soul of this community and it is moving towards more of a simple gathering.
If a community is lacking in the values of family,love and encouragement, then where can the growth and acceptance of Jesus take place? I miss certain aspects of the community that made me look forward after a long day of school to meet the people who will listen and pray together. I believe that everyone has worthwhile ideas that can be considered and that pushing these ideas away will just make people feel unwanted or rejected and this is wrong.
This is a different community where there is only one goal which is to grow together in spirit and to be of service to others. It also means not talking behind people’s back, gossiping or making funny remarks when it is clearly not a joke as we are supposed to love one another and to draw people closer to God. Sometimes, I wonder, “Why is it so hard to work towards a common goal where everybody goes away happy?” Is this the outcome when politics get mixed with spirituality?
I have make this choice to move away not because of my anger only but to move away from all negativity. The move I hope is temporary but rest assured that I have not lost sight of Jesus as I have been silently praying about this. This community is falling apart because Jesus might be present during meetings but if he is not present in our hearts and actions, then it defeats the purpose. No?
Therefore, I am moving away from the community not because I want to abandon it, but I feel tired, burdened and exhausted from having to block out all the negativity as I do not want to be a spoilsport or complainer. However, I will still pray for this community and we have more ways of connecting to people. I just hope that we can grow deeper in the Catholic faith and spirituality. Irregardless of status, everybody is equal in the eyes of Jesus and we should not let power creep into our hearts and minds.
For now, I am going to take stock and take a breather to re-discover myself and to move closer to Jesus before I come back to the community with renewed energy to serve and help people again. Saying sorry will not cut it this time as things are not going to be better, unless one has the ability to see and are willing to reconcile.
Please continue to pray for me as I make a long-awaited stop at the restful waters that Jesus has led me… God Bless! and until next time
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong