“Everything in life, contrary to Madison Avenue’s guarantees, can’t be cured or resolved or eliminated. Some things must simply be endured. Some things must simply be borne. Some things must simply be accepted. Community and relationships enable us to do that. …It is in community where we find out who we really are. It is life with another that shows my impatience and life with another that demonstrates my possessiveness and life with another that gives notice to my nagging devotion to the self. Life with someone else, in other words, doesn’t show me nearly as much about his or her shortcomings as it does about my own. In human relationships I learn how to soften my hard spots and how to reconcile and how to care for someone else besides myself. In human relationships I learn that theory is no substitute for love. It is easy to talk about the love of God; it is another things to practice it. That’s how relationships sanctify me. They show me where holiness is for me. That’s how relationships develop me. They how me where growth is for me. If I’m the passive-victim type, then assertiveness may have something to do with coming to wholeness. If I’m the domineering character in every group, then a willingness to listen and to be led may be my call to life. Alone, I am what I am, but in community I have the chance to become everything that I can be. And so, stability bonds me to this group of people and to these relationships so that resting in the security of each other we can afford to stumble and search, knowing that we will be caught if we fall and we will be led where we cannot see by those who have been there before us.” Joan Chittister
“Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you discovering “who you really are” through your life in community – perhaps as a spouse, sibling, parent, roommate, employee, church member, neighbor? What about you needs to change?
- Have you discovered in your relationships that some things won’t change and “must simply be endured?” Are you doing that well?
- Are you engaged in community life so that, you are not only learning about yourself, but changing? Is a probationary approach to relationships hindering your transformation?
Abba, help me to submit to this messy but essential part of spirituality.
For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. I appreciate your interest! – Bill
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”