This Sunday, I took a walk in reality. A breath of fresh air mixed with the truth of non pretentious faith within a community. And in some ways, the experience was like coming home...
With some friends, I went to a Small Christian Community in the Mejicanos area of the city; an area that I once didn’t live too far from. Mejicanos is an area that is marked with violence, but many of the people have a deep faith that transcends their surroundings, a characteristic that is indicative of El Salvador.
This same faith is what made this group of believers, Pueblo de Dios y Camino, rise up and form a community. This community meets in a home and shares the word like the first Christians did. They don’t follow Rome really, and in some respects, the hierarchy here still seems to have a watchful eye on them. I think that this community still might consider themselves Catholic, but they probably aren’t recognized as such. But does it really matter?
The great thing is, there is a certain feeling of equity. Today a woman presided over the service, beginning the prayers and initiating parts of the liturgy. When I think of the liberation of the women in the Church, this is what my vision is like. And I can’t help but smile.
And it’s not like she had a sermon prepared. Instead, it was the community that interpreted the readings with real life examples from their lives. Examples from the journey...from the streets of El Salvador to the political oppression that they face every day.
Communion was simply sharing bread. There was no formal blessing or hierarchical presentation, it was simply the humble faith of the community that transformed the moment...that changed the bread into something that one needed to receive.
You know, as a good Catholic girl, there is no judgement in my heart about this experience. It was so very obvious that God was there, and that she was blessing them with such a rich and real experience. I’m sure that Rome is pissed and doesn’t really understand the reality of the church today, but my faith, I hope, will never be complicated with such a critical view.
I truly do respect the individual hearts of others, even when they think differently than I do. But I most certainly envy those who are searching...searching for God, or meaning or a new way to believe. Those are the people that I crave to experience life with...as I too have been in that place, and will continue to be.
This community that I visited today, was like that, and I couldn’t help imagine myself coming back and engage my heart in the pursuit of true community...a community of faith.