Collaboration is a word often used in the Church and yet, if we are honest with ourselves, often under practiced. Whether it’s multiple diocesan departments, two Catholic apostolates or even two individuals on the same team, it’s tough to really get to a point of true collaboration. It’s the rare conversation that gets to how we might “co-labor,” what we might each give, or in some cases even give up, to advance the mission of the Church. Quickly, it devolves into identifying that which each party has built and needs to protect, or what we need to get out of it to make it worthwhile. Prudent business? Absolutely. Effective Christian Witness. I’m not so sure. And if I’m even more honest, I need to ask the question, how often am I the guilty party?
As I think about my own pride and fear that often prevent me from collaborating in ministry, I couldn’t help but wonder how well am I collaborating with the Lord? Am I asking Him to advance my will or trying to discern His? Am I still negotiating the price when all I have to do is look at the cross to see very clearly what He paid for me with no strings attached? As much as I want to collaborate, am I ready for the labor? Seems like I have lots of questions to negotiate with myself before I try to set the terms for others.