In every moment I can awaken to a dialogical, endlessly renewing communion with that wherein we and all others “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Communion is intimately sharing others’ distinctive reality. It’s not total absorption—“communion” means “union-with,” and the “with” is just as crucial as the “union.” Differences don’t disappear but enhance the sharing. (Questions don’t disappear either!) Communion is dialogical when the sharing is mutual.

I awaken to this dialogical, endlessly renewing communion as the all-inclusive good animating all other goods.

As one peculiar sort of process thinker, I can rightfully name this communion as newly interacting with uniquely all-inclusive way of newly interacting.

As one peculiar sort of Christian, I can rightfully name this as communion with the God of Jesus Christ, without forbidding other namings.

Dialogical communion is neither controlling nor controlled and thus will not protect me or those I love from incalculable degrees of suffering but will actually make me more compassionate and vulnerable.

Yet even when life’s occurrences devastate, I can, without minimizing devastation, still awaken to this dialogical, endlessly renewing communion, and at least begin to move on. (It’s gotten me through every loss so far, even when grief seemed overwhelming. I’m wagering it will continue doing that, even in death: this communion “reconcilingly continues the differing projects of every ended life, which means that no life is ever totally ended.”)

I awaken to this communion, somewhat, simply by writing this down, and then reading it.

And I awaken to this communion, somewhat, whenever I participate sympathetically in ancient and current forms of worshiping together. I sing songs, hear readings and reflections, recite prayers and  a credo, share a meal, none of which I would have written or designed myself, but all of which I can readily see as pointing to this dialogical, endlessly renewing communion.

Pointing to this is the best any of us can do, and what I am writing and reading right now is simply another way of pointing that seems to suffice for the moment.

Fr. Charles