When God created Adam, He said that it was not good for the man to be alone. So He created Eve. Adam’s reaction upon seeing Eve was a cry of joy: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23).
While these words refer to the first community — the communion between man and woman in marriage — they can also be applied to any human community.
When God created us, He stamped His image upon us. This is why we crave the companionship of others. Remember, God Himself is a communion of three Persons.
Yet, we live in an age of isolation. This is ironic. We’re more interconnected than ever! But online interactions alone can’t fully satisfy our social cravings.
If you’re wanting to build community this new year, here are some ideas.
1. Go to Mass more often
This may seem like a no-brainer to some of you, but others probably aren’t going to Mass as often as they should.
God wants us to worship Him not only as individuals, but also as a body — the Body of Christ. Plus, Mass is a great place to meet people who will actually support your faith, not try to destroy it!
2. Reach out to someone who is lonely
Some people struggle to build the community they desire because of chronic pain, illness, or the loss of a loved one. They may also worry about being a burden to others because of their condition.
These are the people who need community most. Discern whether there’s someone you know who has held back, but would love another person to talk to.
You don’t need to offer anything fancy. Simply being present is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give.
3. Volunteer at a charitable organization
As we said, community is about being there for our neighbors, especially those who lack basic necessities.
One of the most fulfilling things you can do is volunteer at a food pantry or other charitable organization. You’ll be bringing the love of Christ to those in need and meeting some great people!
4. Join a Catholic group
Let’s face it, our culture is largely against us. We all need Catholic friends to support us as we walk through this real-life Mordor.
Some parishes and dioceses have groups for young adult Catholics and seniors. Ask yours about groups you can join.
Also consider starting your own group based on a hobby. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were part of an informal club called the Inklings. These blokes — many of whom were authors or academics — read and critiqued each other’s writings, smoked, drank beer, and simply enjoyed each other’s company.
As our society moves more into virtual interactions, we must find ways to create community with other people in the real world. Give one or more of these ideas a try and enrich your life!