Caring for the invisible

The communion of every Christian with Christ is so real, so deep, so material and so mutually interdependent that we constitute not a collective or an association, but an organism, a living body. The Body of Christ is not a “body” in the sense of Mercadona or El Corte Inglés which are limited companies. The Body of Christ is a real body.

For this reason, the saints of the Church taught that most of the spiritual and moral battles that take place in the conscience of each of us have an effect, for good or ill, on the rest of humanity. Just as in the human body there are visible parts that can be observed with the naked eye and others that escape simple observation, so it is in the body of Christ.

There are invisible substances that preserve health or cause disease, such as viruses and antibodies. We recognise them only in their final effect. Moreover, what happens in one cell ultimately has an effect on the whole body. And so most of what happens with regard to the health or disease of the body is, long before it shows itself externally, invisible to the unaided eye. When we see outward symptoms, they have been working hiddenly for a long time.

In an age like ours when private morality is ignored or undervalued, we tend to forget that every body needs a strong immune system and healthy antibodies to keep it free of disease. This has consequences.

What are the antibodies that create that healthy immune system within the Body of Christ? If we credit the experts of the spirit, we create healthy antibodies when we silently suffer for one another, pray for one another, when we lead lives of quiet surrender, when we do in private what we declare in public, when we are faithful, when we keep no account of evil… and when we are victorious in our small battles against the petty within us.

God cares about the little things as well as the big things. God cares because the little things give shape and consistency to the big things. Hence, social morality is simply a reflection of the private morality of each of us.

When the chaos that lies within the depths of our lives remains intact and untamed, it will also remain untouchable and ungovernable in the world. The kingdom of God works through conversion, and conversion is ultimately a personal act.

Carlos Castañeda, the Peruvian-American mystic, put it this way: “I come from Latin America, where intellectuals always spoke of social and political revolution and where many bombs were dropped. But the revolution has not changed much. It takes little daring to bomb a building, but to stop smoking, or to control anxiety, or to stop the inner chatter, you have to remake yourself. That’s where real reform begins“.


Juan Carlos cmf




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