For the communities that welcomed us at our birth, showing us love and nourishment in the early years
We give you thanks, O Lord of history
For the communities that will welcome us in our futures, the communities in which we will serve and be served, love and be loved
We give you thanks, O Lord of possibilities, of hope that does not fail
For this community, for its deep nourishment to our spirits, its essential questions to our hearts, and its care of our souls, welcoming us now while calling us forward to follow Christ,
We give you thanks, O Lord of this time and place, You are our peace and our provocation
For the mystery of life that you, God of love, give in community
We give you thanks, for all this and more,
We have much to be judged on when Jesus comes, slums and battlefields and insane asylums, but these are the symptoms of our illness, and the result of our failures in love. In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord I could not call on him to come.
– Madeleine L’Engle
St. John of the Cross said
“Only the free can love, and only the completely free can love unreservedly.”
Both the shortness and depth of this statement harken to a kind of life different from that which I am used to expecting. Who are the people in my life who are completely free, who love unreservedly?
Although it’s true that the weak need the strong, the strong need the weak every bit as much. How the strong respond to the weak is their only hope of becoming human.
– Peter Fitch
Patience, like forgiveness, is at the heart of community life–patience with ourselves, with the laws of our own growth and with others.
– Jean Vanier