Wednesday, June 6, 2018
In #140 of Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis states that "when we live apart for others, it is very difficult to fight against concupiscence, the snares and temptations of the devil and the selfishness of the world. Bombarded as we are by so many enticements, we can grow too isolated, lose our sense of reality and inner clarity, and easily succumb.
141. "Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others...In many holy marriages too, each spouse becomes a means used by Christ for the sanctification of the other. Living or working alongside others is surely a path of spiritual growth. Saint John of the Cross told one of his followers: 'You are living with others in order to be fashioned and tried.'"
I find joy living in a community of 48 now, but I also enjoy the fact that I can have quite a bit of solitude both in my room and in the Chapel. There is a richness in a large community but even when we are working or sharing with only one or two, we have community.
We have finished our retreat and we did think about community during it as we have the call to be one body and we thought about the different families we belong to and how we see community. I thought that I often sit with the same people at lunch (our dinner for only a light supper in the evening); the five of us have formed a little community from praying and sharing together each day. We laugh a great deal, too. I guess I will be sharing tidbits from the retreat as we go along, but I do want to finish the rest of the Pope's Exhortation on Holiness as it is so important for all of us.