c) Working Together, Not Alone

Lets-Work-Together1Top Quotes AT-A-GLANCE: Working Together, Not Alone

(See Further Down the Page for the Full Quotes.)

  1. Alone, I am pretty powerless, able to make a splash, but not a difference. A very large group of people watching the news together could change the world. The Church is that group of persons. (Fr Ron Rolheiser)
  2. We cannot live this life alone. (Henri Nouwen)
  3. “the bondage of individualism” (Pope Francis)
  4. “We need to build up this culture of encounter.” (Pope Francis)
  5. The Christian vision is that we belong to a community, the People of God. (Fr Peter McVerry)
  6. We are collaborators in creation. (Teilhard de Chardin)
  7. Family and community are about support, celebration, and affirmation. (Henri Nouwen)
  8. May the Christian community be committed in a practical way to prevent conflict and bring about encounter. (Pope Francis)
  9. The important thing is not to give in to the temptation of conflict, but to reject all violence. It is possible to dialogue, to listen, to plan together, and in this manner to overcome suspicion and prejudice and to build an ever more secure, peaceful and inclusive co-existence. (Pope Francis)
  10. We need to run together, and the ball must be passed from hand to hand, and carried along until we reach the goal line. Then we celebrate. (Pope Francis)
  11. The Gospel describes Jesus’ vision for a new community. (Pope Francis)
  12. The Church is a community of remembrance…. Jesus asks us to share in his life… We are not isolated individuals… A life of remembrance needs others. It demands exchange, encounter and a genuine solidarity. (Pope Francis)
  13. Solidarity is a commitment to the COMMON good in contrast to my own, or any sectoral, good. (Fr Peter McVerry)
  14. Invite others, especially the vulnerable and the innocent, to join you along the way of goodness and hope. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  15. We need to look at the social needs of people directly in the face and work together to answer them and not to be put off by diversionary tactics. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)

Working Together, Not Alone

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

— Jesus (Mt 18:20)

“The Christian vision is that we belong to a community, the People of God.”

— Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, page 138 of his book ‘Jesus: Social Revolutionary?’, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 2008

“How can I ever let God’s grace fully work in my life unless I live in a community of people who can affirm it, deepen it, and strengthen it? We cannot live this life alone.”

— Henri Nouwen

“Many people are hoping for a change capable of releasing them from the bondage of individualism and the despondency it spawns.” (section 1)

“We need to build up this culture of encounter. We do not love concepts or ideas; no one loves a concept or an idea. We love people… Commitment, true commitment, is born of the love of men and women, of children and the elderly, of peoples and communities… of names and faces which fill our hearts.” (section 2)

— Pope Francis, in sections 1 and 2 of his Address to the “Second World Meeting of Popular Movements” in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 9th July 1015

“Family and community are about support, celebration, and affirmation where we lift up what has already begun in us.”

— Henri Nouwen

“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”

— Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher

“All of our lives leads to a goal. This search, the search for the goal, is tiring. It requires a lot of effort, commitment. But the important thing is not running alone. To get there we need to run together, and the ball must be passed from hand to hand, and carried along until we reach the goal line. Then we celebrate.”

— Pope Francis I, addressing the national rugby teams of Italy and Argentina, 22nd November 2013, as recorded by Rome Reports

“Edward Schillebeeckx once said: ‘What we dream alone remains a dream, but what we dream with others can become a reality.’ I go to church because I realise the impotence of my individuality, the limits of my private self…. Alone, I am pretty powerless, able to make a splash, but not a difference. A very large group of people watching the news together could change the world. The Church is that group of persons. As a world organisation—with a heart for justice, peace, and the poor—it is far from perfect, but it is the best of a bad lot and it offers positive hope.”

— Fr Ron Rolheiser

“Dear brothers and sisters, these days in Rome there have been rather strong tensions between residents and immigrants. These are facts which are occurring in various European cities, especially in neighbouring suburbs marked by other difficulties. I ask the Institutions at all levels to address as a priority what now constitutes a social emergency and which, if not appropriately addressed as quickly as possible, risks degenerating ever further.

May the Christian community be committed in a practical way to prevent conflict and bring about encounter.

Citizens and immigrants, with representatives of institutions, can meet one another, even in a parish hall, and speak together about the situation.

The important thing is not to give in to the temptation of conflict, but to reject all violence. It is possible to dialogue, to listen, to plan together, and in this manner to overcome suspicion and prejudice and to build an ever more secure, peaceful and inclusive co-existence.”

— Pope Francis, speaking to the crowds at St Peter’s Square after his Angelus address on Sunday 16th November, 2014.

“And the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she celebrates the memory of the Lord, the sacrifice of the Lord. Because the Church is a community of remembrance…. Jesus asks us to share in his life, and through us he allows this gift to multiply in our world.

We are not isolated individuals, separated from one another, but rather a people of remembrance, a remembrance ever renewed and ever shared with others. A life of remembrance needs others. It demands exchange, encounter and a genuine solidarity.”

— Pope Francis giving a homily in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Thursday, 9 July 2015

“The Gospel describes Jesus’ vision for a new community, a vision that calls us to move beyond compassion to solidarity—as Jesus himself did on the Cross….

Solidarity is a reaching out to ALL in our world who are victims, who are poor and who are marginalised, whether we like them or not…. Solidarity is a radical commitment to do whatever is required to alleviate their suffering, at whatever cost to ourselves…. Solidarity is a willingness to respond to the suffering of others with a love that is prepared to see MY life changed, even radically, in order to bring change to those who suffer…. Solidarity is a commitment to the COMMON good in contrast to my own, or any sectoral, good.”

— Fr Peter McVerry, SJ

“The dreams and longings that young people pursue can so easily be shattered or destroyed. I am thinking of those affected by drug and substance abuse, homelessness and poverty, racism, violence, and degradation – especially of girls and women.

While the causes of these problems are complex, all have in common a poisoned attitude of mind which results in people being treated as mere objects ─ a callousness of heart takes hold which first ignores, then ridicules, the God-given dignity of every human being. Such tragedies also point to what might have been and what could be, were there other hands – your hands – reaching out.

I encourage you to invite others, especially the vulnerable and the innocent, to join you along the way of goodness and hope.”

— Pope Benedict XVI, talk to young people in Yonkers, New York, USA, April 19 2008

“…. Let me come back to the concept of community. For many the sacramental life of the Church has been reduced to a sort of spiritual supermarket where I as an individual come occasionally to top up my spirit. The idea of being part of a believing and worshipping community was not central.

…. But Christianity is not just a religion about individuals. The sacramental life of the Church is always the celebration of a community…. The entire sacramental practice in Ireland has to be seen as something which takes place within the framework of a worshipping community and which leads to the Eucharist as the central element in our communion with Christ and with one another.

…. The quality of religious education must be of such a level that it treats men and women as adults, addressing the questions which adult Christians have to face as they live their faith in today’s world.

The Christian community in its dialogue with people of different viewpoints must bring its contribution to the building up of the Irish society of the future. This involves also a contribution to the building up of a different political culture, not in the sense of building a new Christian political party or by telling parties what to do. …. We need to look at the social needs of people directly in the face and work together to answer them and not to be put off by diversionary tactics.

We need a renewed sense of national purpose which attempts to involve citizens rather than to manage them. We need a renewed understanding of civil society and its ability not just to toss ideas around but also to bring into social and economic policy a sense of participation, of gratuitousness and generosity and of true pluralism. Our Christian communities of lay men and women – and especially idealistic young people – should not be absent from this process.”

— Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin speaking in St John’s Parish in Tralee on 24th February 2015 as part of a set of talks called ‘Journeying in Hope’ as posted on the Dublin Diocese website

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