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Topic-icon Let's talk about 'littleness"

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2 years 10 hours ago #4 by rosemaryo
rosemaryo created the topic: Let's talk about 'littleness"
I keep hearing from several different sources, how the way of 'small and little' are returning to our collective consciousness as the freely chosen way of life. People are investing in smaller home spaces, simpler lifestyles, smaller cars and even a smaller circle of friends. The small churches, the small businesses and little closely-knit neighbourhoods are once again attractive options for younger as well as older persons. If this is a trend manifesting in the secular world,I began to ponder and explore what it might be indicating about our spiritual lives.

I wonder too if today's 'timing' and 'emergence' of more Little Design Communities is just another expression of the faith-ful flock returning - with pure intention - to the vision of small faith communities so manifest in the Church of the first centuries.

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2 years 10 hours ago #5 by rosemaryo
rosemaryo replied the topic: Let's talk about 'littleness"
Here's what I have come to believe and understand ...

In the old language 'littleness' is a pejorative term, connected with weakness and shame. Human striving is motivated towards being 'the greatest.' Throughout the Eucharistic Letter, however, the meaning of littleness undergoes a de-construction, breaks free of this traditional notion and is given a completely new form and new context.

'Littleness' is now connected with leaven, with salt, with seed - very tiny things, apparently small processes; even so, these have a significance for the whole. 'Little' now reveals the impelling force energizing and motivating the entirety of life. This is the radically new proclamation, the re-construction of the meaning of 'little.' Now it points to a secret, concealed inner dignity.

By human judgment, it is a contradiction for the smaller to be the greater, but 'the little plan/design' is in reality and in truth, the great plan because it is Love's plan/Love's Design. And Love's plan is the deepening and extension of human relationships. So, it is not 'little' at all, but is in fact, the most powerful divine reality there is, ever was, or ever will be. It is huge, gigantic - absolutely important to grasp!

It is 'great' in the most radical sense of that word because it is absolutely like God - incarnational. Littleness is the way to this greateness. Littleness is greatness! For those of us attracted into this 'Little Design' way of life we are beginning to taste and see how good it is.

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1 year 11 months ago #11 by rosemaryo
rosemaryo replied the topic: Let's talk about 'littleness"
I recently read this quote from Pope Benedict XVI


“The theology of littleness is a basic category of Christianity. After all, the tenor of our faith is that God's distinctive greatness is revealed precisely in powerlessness. That in the long run, the strength of history is precisely in those who love, which is to say, in a strength that, properly speaking, cannot be measured according to categories of power. So in order to show who he is, God consciously revealed himself in the powerlessness of Nazareth and Golgotha. Thus, it is not the one who can destroy the most who is the most powerful...but, on the contrary, the least power of love is already greater than the greatest power of destruction.”

Makes us reflect upon the 'power of love' over the 'love of power.'

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1 year 11 months ago #12 by rosemaryo
rosemaryo replied the topic: Let's talk about 'littleness"
I have grown to love and trust the 'small community' experience of Little Design as the nurturing ground for my spiritual growth and transformation. Since,at the same time, I belong to a religious congregation - now amalgamated to over 300 women - I see the small within the big... and ponder if this 'Little Design' might be a 'spark of renewal' for all of us WITHIN the universal Church. Today's email meditation speaks to my hope:

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditation

Thy kingdom come,” as we say in the Our Father, clearly means that the Kingdom is something that enters into this world or, as Jesus puts it elsewhere, the Reign of God “is close at hand” (Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:17). Don’t project it onto a later world. The Kingdom of God breaks into this world whenever people act as God would act.

When that can happen in terms of structures or groups, then you have a taste of the Kingdom descending to earth. To be realistic and honest, this seldom happens with more than “two or three” rightly gathered (Matthew 18:20). It is the critical mass, or “leaven” and “salt” who can and will change the world. This is Jesus' basic and first image of church, yet it is found only in Matthew’s Gospel. It is sad to say, but institutions as institutions can seldom operate at a Kingdom level, except on paper and by occasional courageous decisions. They can also educate, protect, and promote enlightened individuals, as many churches and organizations often do.

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1 year 11 months ago #13 by rosemaryo
rosemaryo replied the topic: Let's talk about 'littleness"
Arlette H. wrote
There is of course, always a balance to be found, whether it leans more to one side or to the other does not matter. The solution so often is “Both-And”. Yes, indeed, the “Little within the Big”. I pray the renewal of the Church will come that way. The littleness has descended to the spiritual fountain, pure spirit and then can bring the refreshment of its newness to the ‘big’ institution, organization. And the institutions can do their work by “educating, protecting and promoting” their revived life. How beautiful (even if arduous) this could be!

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