Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Community Life


You know that often used verse in weddings, from 1Corinthians 13:4-7. I don't think it's meant for espoused relationships. I think it's referring to community life.

In Discussion Group, tonight, we were discussing how hard it is to live in community, especially a celibate one. It is especially so in a male celibate community. If you're competitive, and feel the need to present a certain persona, it is very hard to love your confreres. The verse tells us basically to be humble enough to forget ourselves--our needs, our ego, and consider the other person's needs. We need to see Christ in them, and one can't if you're maintaining the persona of an alpha male.

Love is patient, is kind; love does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked; thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Read this verse again, thinking of a couple making their marriage vows. Between two people in love there naturally is this mutual give and take. What bride is more ambitious than her husband? Self-seeking? Unkind? Thinks evil? Come'on! They're just getting married! This verse is wasted on them.

Now read this verse again, thinking of a Lay Dominican Chapter.

Oh boy!

Those that live in community need to forget all pretense, ego, ambition, and look for the best in their brothers and sisters. That's where God abides.

1 comment:

Isolde Eleison said...

I just googled Bl. Mary Frances Schervier who is commemorated by the Franciscans tomorrow. I suspect she'd agree. ;)

"You are my friends if you do what I command you.... I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another." (John 15:14,17) If we do this faithfully and zealously, we will experience the truth of the words of our father Saint Francis who says that love lightens all difficulties and sweetens all bitterness. We will likewise partake of the blessing which Saint Francis promised to all his children, both present and future, after having admonished them to love one another even as he had loved them and continues to love them." -Mother Mary Frances, 1868, writing to her sisters