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The big “us”


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Bishop Thomas. Foto: Anna Braw

When beauty and simplicity meet, when personal needs encounter the needs of the others, when information becomes knowledge, when knowledge matures into a vision that transforms actions into reality.
When we no longer allow the socio-economic status of others to blind us to their humanity, when we see that there are no foreigners, but that we are all human, that we are all united. When we kneel down in order to help lift others up.

Then we bring into reality the vision of Anafora: a hand that reaches down in order to lift up every person, the whole person. 
Together, we can work to give everyone the space and the means for their development and advancement. We can help each other grow. We can see life with a new perspective.
The vision of Anafora conforms to its meaning in Greek: offering, being lifted up, being elevated.  This word is used in the liturgy with the same meaning. 

At Anafora, we put into practice the meaning of this word in a lifestyle that creates a liturgy after the liturgy.  So, we enjoy the gift of reconciliation and unity, a path of peace to break the barriers that separate rich and poor, men and women, east and west, and to unite humanity without barriers of separation. 

Then we see that there are no foreigners, because what makes a person a foreigner to another person? 

We need to see the unity of humanity, the beauty of intentional community life where people of different ages, backgrounds, interests, and nationalities live and work together as a family. We learn from each other, support each other, and accompany each other on life’s path.  Then we see the honoured humanity in one another.

It’s easy to see me, you, and us.  But very seldom do we realize that the meaning of the big “us”  is to reveal the beauty of life as the ” big us” includes God in us, the cosmos, nature, the animals, the plants, and our responsibility towards the environment, which we should respect, honor, and love. As human beings, we are called to embrace nature in our hearts, to promote its development with our intellects, to care for it with our being, and to respect it with our lifestyle. 

Imagine if you are walking alone in a dark tunnel on a cold night.  What would you need most? 

For me, I would like to have someone hold my hand, to walk with me, and if it would happen that that person offers me a flashlight or blanket with joy , then it becomes a joyful lifting up process.

In life some of us meet with other people who have had fewer educational opportunities than we ourselves have had. We have the joy of walking together, and we are ready to walk with them through the educational process from illiteracy to the university. We are ready to facilitate learning through life experiences, activities, and role playing. We are ready to enrich each other, to exchange knowledge, and to allow genuine opportunities for growth. Through our educational programs designed for learners at all levels, Anafora lifts up members in our community so that they can realize their full potential. 
As human beings we are responsible for creating around us an atmosphere in which spiritual, personal growth is possible, where one reflects and reconnects to oneself in an atmosphere of equality, acceptance, and respect, where one tries to understand others without preconceived ideas or rash judgment.

Through this experience, we come to see that the ultimate expression of spirituality is to be human, the image of God, and to see the beauty of humanity through the eyes of Jesus. 

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