I have been a part of the seminary community for six years now, and sometimes I just wonder what’s the point of such a life when in my role as a diocesan priest I would probably be living on my own. Do I get anything out of this? Sometimes we work hard to try to create an environment where people are able to live together, where they are able to hold good relationships, but really, is it worth anything? Can’t we just all live our own separate lives and grow in whatever way we want to be?
Then at moments I just realise the beauty of living in a community, where one shares special occasions, difficult situations, a fun activity or a stressful event, or maybe even just an ordinary day. In these instances, one lives the beauty that different characters express, and indeed such personalities do complement each other. We are born in a society, we grow in societies and thus it seems that we are made to be in societies. I guess that living in a community offers the reality that we can grow together, learn from and teach each other, and this gives us the opportunity to mould ourselves as individuals who are able to reach a better understanding of themselves. We all share in this experience called life.
Jesus of Nazareth, God who became human, was also born in a community, was brought up in a community and chose to live in a community throughout his ministry by living with his disciples. He could have chosen to do everything alone, but he chose otherwise, not only for the continuation of what was to be His Church, but also for the growth of the disciples and of himself as a human being. Christ is the model for all humanity. In God becoming man we witness how we can live as God’s image. In fact, God himself is a community. Being at the Seminary, I realise how good it is to be able to live in a community, to learn from my formators and friends, to study together and grow in our spiritual lives. We all have our vocation story, and so it is very beautiful to be able to share the richness God has given us through our lives. Though eight years are a long time, they pass faster than expected when spent in good company!