Today I present a visual image of the Participatory Paradigm. In essence, I’m trying to put in visual form what is already taking place and has been since the Church began. The attempt at doing this is actually pretty silly (and could be dangerous). It’s like putting combustible air in a box. Mystery cannot be contained in a diagram. Yet, here I go. Please forgive me if I trample on your sensibilities. Love constrains me to present this to my readers and friends. I hope this diagram challenges your present understanding of the Christian life. I hope it elicits questions which you’ll share with me.
This is an initial draft. There is much work yet to do to make this presentable. But, I wanted to share it with you in light of what I have been writing and for future reference.
Drum roll please…here is a diagram of The Participatory Paradigm…[gview file=”https://communewithgod.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Participatory-Paradigm-1-1.pdf”]
I’ve been working on this digram for almost a year. True. I am a slow learner. But, actually the realities of this visual paradigm have been working on me for years. There are limitations to any diagram and this one falls short in many ways. Yet, it encapsulates so much about what the Christian life is, at least how it was lived for centuries after Christ.
Observations On The Participatory Paradigm Diagram
- At the core of life is our relationship with God within the framework of the Church.
- Out of the Holy Trinity flows the uncreated energies of God in which we participate creating a context for union with God. (gold arrows)
- In union with God, we live into and through the life of the Church by the operation of grace into all aspects of life. (green arrows)
- We live in constant movement “out of and back into” these relationships (Trinity & Church) liturgically, eucharistically, sacramentally, and ascetically. (green arrows)
- It is in four primary practices – Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and Manual Labor – that our spiritual lives are honed to the benefit of others.
- Every area of our lives – micro & macro – are affected by these core relationships, synergistic movements, and transforming practices.
- From the standpoint of the true Christian (“ME” in the diagram), participation is mandatory or none of this matters.
Study the Participatory Paradigm diagram. How does this “picture” compare to your picture of the Christian life? Are there similarities, differences, gaps, questions, or clarifications needed? Share below.