Pray, Love, Serve: Why Community Living Is So Challenging, And Why It Is So Worth It

Sam 10 you all feel very gracious welcome someone was fishing with us at the monastery in Cambridge a while back and a couple of customers brothers are standing together and this guest said so what’s the most difficult thing about being a monk and my brother was fitting just beside me said what’s most difficult thing about being a monk and he said the monks and I think that brings largely true for me one of the most difficult things again in an intentional community whether it’s monastic community or appear in your community is relating to or avoiding relating to brothers and we’ll also shown up in our lives I think the only thing that’s greater than that in my own experience it’s the issues about relating to our own selves or written that and to the degree that we avoid that we’re going to see ourselves I’ll mirrored back to us and other people because I comment this call this projection it’s what we what we can’t claim what we can’t reconcile with ourselves where we’re not aware good speaking terms of ourself we’re going to see in the face and form of other people and talking with one of my brothers in the monastery about something and I said I guess I got some freight eyes because I had some baggage around that and he’s a criticized nutbags that’s freight we hear Jesus say love your neighbor as you love yourself and I think that that that is more descriptive than it is prescriptive that is simply what will happen the degree to which we love ourselves and can love ourselves the ungood speak in terms of ourselves will set the bar or how we’re going to love other people and so I would say one thing that is not an option is to diss yourself do you know that word it’s a word comes from the streets and disrespect yourself we have to hold yourself and carry herself to port ourself among others with the kind of love which we hear Jesus has for us and one of the options is not to diss ourselves including dissing ourselves because we think we’re not worthy of God’s love which puts ourselves with higher standards and God has it makes our self God unwittingly to the degree that we’re on good speaking terms with our self will raise the bar I think we should be our own best friends no no one will know what you have been through in your life when it’s taken for you to get to this moment in your life you’re probably a walking miracle and most people will never know but you know that carry yourself with enormous charity and compassion of generosity when you’re brushing your teeth and I’m learning ring at yourself in the mirror you’re amazing you’re a walking miracle and then you know what the people that we’re going to interact with such as an appearance community wonderful parish amenities such as Trinity I’ll tell you something that would make it easier in my experience and that is that Jesus had higher standards you know that all the language that we heard Jesus remembered in the Gospels is he’s come to he’s come

to minister to the lost the imprisoned the brokenhearted the captives he’s talking about us real esque that is a group whom he’s come to meet and serve one of the metaphors he use to describe us is sheep I spent a summer with a shepherd some years back have you been around sheep I mean they are the most clueless why she got such a good route that white goals that work very smart like a la virgen the question I have for they haven’t spent don’t work what sheep and it’s hardly a compliment do you remember when Jesus begins his public ministry remembered in Luke’s Gospel chapter chapter four loop remembers Jesus coming to a synagogue and given a scroll there’s like a lay reader leading from a scroll or he’s reading from size es 61 and he reads the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim Liberty to the captives and the freeing of those who are bound to comfort those who warned to give them a garland of ashes a mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit bind up the brokenhearted proclaim them to the Catholic comfort to those who are around freeing those that were presented that’s where the public ministry begins if you were a politician that would be a stump speech and he’s talking about us so I’d say you know one of the things that makes life yeah in a church community so challenging is I’m holding at Jesus standards being so low presuming in us just abject neediness and that we we show up that we showed to the communion rail with beggars bulbs desperately desperately needed in hungry which is how jesus meets us Francis gives us hope and healing in the Greek we hear that Jesus is come to be our Savior and in the Greek you draw from the same etymological root to save and to salve you know like if you’ve been burned or cut to salve and to salvage saves AB Salvage it’s the same neurological route in English too and this is what Jesus has come to be and do to be our Savior a tower sapper at our cell feature which can be an enormous Wellspring of hope but it also has a kind of heads up that these are these are the kinds of folks that were going to be sharing the pews with very little standards hope hope and then when we hear Jesus and the gospel speak was Ellen speaking to you you you you you but except in those moments when he’s speaking specifically to a person like the woman at the well if he’s not speaking specifically to a person when Jesus says you is plural when we can’t hear it in the English but it’s you all as you all it’s you all Jesus presuming that we’re in this together that our relationship to Jesus is very personal but it’s not private very personal but not private which is what you’re living out of marriage community now as you’re doing of a life together and we don’t have to worry far in the Gospels to discover the black together is quite challenging in John’s Gospel the verb that Jesus uses is abide and if

you unpack that that verb in the green it means like hang in there because the challenges are great but so are the rewards and and I would say that the rewards are why it is such a grace to hang in there to abide to be with one another and and I’m going to see I want to see some why am i coming out of my own experience the began a monastery that I think they’re probably the many of the dynamic said I live with day in and day out our dynamics that you will know as a parish community and probably other communities to which you belong spouse or partner friend colleagues pub which groups here at Trinity where you’re where you’re living life and some kind of committed explicitly or implicitly committed relationship with others I’m going to name one of names to roll what I’m going to call best practices of how to glean the most about life together which some days can be enormously challenging one thing I think that that will make a world of difference is to live with gratitude to live Eucharistic alee the reason that we celebrate the holy eucharist upstairs here in the church and week by week by week the reason we celebrate the only Eucharist you Kristen which comes from a Greek word meaning thanksgiving a great thanksgiving the reason we celebrate the Holy Eucharist is not to be having lived a very kind of horizontal life normal life normal humdrum and then they have a kind of elevated spiritual moment and the Eucharist and then come back down to normal it’s really the opposite it we celebrate the Holy Eucharist is a kind of living reminder of how to be living life all the time in it sets a kind of template for how to live euphemistically with gratitude then in gratefully will not take away difficult things in your life including difficult people and we won’t it won’t take any of that away but it will rebalance the weight of your life and you’ll get in touch with so much more than you might have missed another way of putting this is to live your life as a gift and that is a given to live your life gratefully and i would say how to live your life gratefully is start where you are always from where you are so if you if you find just now for example that you can sit in a chair without having to be strapped in you can hold yourself up right be grateful if you can breathe without mechanical assistance the great pull if at the moment of your choosing you can stand up and find your sense of balance and decide where you want your feet to take you if you can reach out your hand to a cup which has a coffee minute and you’ve got the muscular coordination to lift this copier to your face and you can sip on this delicious coffee and you have coffee which is hot right are you with me I mean you could you could you could get on a roll it would be a way of praying without ceasing to practice to

practice living your life Eucharistic alee practice living your life full of gratitude it will change the balance of your life and what is otherwise so beating and maybe so discouraging will not automatically be taken away but you can in touch with a force which is so immeasurably great then it will put a spring to your gate then it going to your eyes like to your countenance it will make it will make a world of difference to you and it will make a world of difference to other people you’re expressing gratitude to them in my experience there there are two sorts of people who go under thanked whom is receiving gratitude have one group of people call those who can easily be down and out people whose life is largely one of service to others of us people who collect tolls ride buses meet us at the CES checkout carry our dishes away from the restaurant table you know and we could make a long long list people who is like this largely service and duty and oftentimes desperation as coming back from New York City on Amtrak and got off at South Station and I was walking walking down the ramp into the train station and just as I was walking by the cab of the the engine of the train the engineer was climbing down the ladder from from the engine and I said to have us we were now walking sort of side by side I that I said thanks for the great ride well you’re no sausage a lot a lot of noise in the air they’re from lots of trains there and thanks for the great ride and this engineer you can big guy portly suspenders and I’m sure greece here and there big guy big guy he turned me said what are you saying working up the courage I said I said thanks for the great right I got on penn station and i didn’t come with you here into boston this big tough guy stopped dead in his tracks and he had tears in his eyes just just like that and he said i have been driving trains for more than 30 years and no one has ever thanked me you know that shouldn’t be I shouldn’t be you’ll change someone’s day and you may change their life by thanking them there are posts under this roof today here who would be so moved to be thanked don’t make it up but don’t don’t miss an opportunity for someone who is down and out and maybe they got red under cupboard but they feel down about you know it may have nothing to do with money they created Ellen out I think download out folks are under thanked and probably all of us have been in that category more than once maybe today the other category people i think are under things or people who are up and out and these are the news piece of our leaders and probably all of us also our leaders or have them leave it may be a very small domain or March to me but we’re the point person for making something happen and many leaders when they’re in their leadership

role are not thanked and it’s not because people are grateful but in some ways in your leadership role the more dependable you are the more predictable you’re the more wonderful you are always is probably going to set you up for being thanked all the less because you’re always like this you’re amazing and surely you know surely as if when we are in our leadership vote you don’t need my leadership I mean what you know when we’re when it’s up to us however big the pond is it’s up to us I think often times of it’s just assume our soul is kind of like a nuclear power plant you know and they kind of the energy just comes from inside of us it just comes inside as it doesn’t need any kind of outside input but although it makes such a difference so I would see if there’s some leaders in your life leaders here in this wonderful community for whom you may be very thankful but haven’t expressed it and why they would sure they know sure they know will I always say it Santa it’s it being grateful is a transformative it consecrates life it will change someone’s day it will make a world of difference to the whole item and you know there’s a cousin to thank you and I cousin is you’re welcome people are going to need to thank you they’re going to want a need to thank you and when they do say you’re welcome don’t see no problem don’t apologize for your underperformance see you’re welcome see your welcome and say from the bottom of your heart you’re welcome sm to see and there’s more min that Kimura welcome welcome you’re welcome gratitude absolutely transformative something else I think is is the best practice you know at Easter we’re going to renew our baptismal promises and there’s one phrase that we will promise to respect the dignity of every human being where I respect our own dignity I mean it’s going to start with us and the degree to which we can or can’t do that is going to set the bar for others you know respect your own dignity and if that’s if that’s too far of a reach for you alone get some help you’re worth it just get some help if there’s a blog and respecting their dignity get some help help is helpful it’s a comment you’re worth adding here with it you’re with it there’s a wonderful phrase in Psalm 17 and it shows something comfortable so you pray Compline at the end of the night keep us as the apple of your eye keep us is the apple of your eye now that’s a metaphor that’s a nice what’s the metaphor well you don’t know about this probably all of you if you have held or been held by someone loving me very very very very closely could be a little baby child infant a very close friend could be your spouse or partner meaning if you’re holding or being held very closely you can see yourself reflected in their people and any other expense you can see yourself reply in there people the people is the apple that’s the metaphor that’s the metaphor keep us as the apple of your eye keep us popped gracious God as he not love your eye which is I mean there is something no sweeter way for the psalmist to remind this Howard word regard by God adored he puts us the apple of your eye absolutely the door God is smitten with you you make God’s day respect your dignity in it that’s a reach it’s some help with a piece that’s true God looks upon you with eyes of adoration and gods got big plans to spend eternity with you so

the other thing about respecting dignity is a cross respecting the dignity of others some people do not have dignity and the way they act shows it and the only way they’re going to have dignity as if we give it to them we have to give it to them before we can respect it because they don’t have it maybe they never had it maybe it was robbed from them quite tragically oh but the Queen’s dignity under someone how we treat them speak to them look upon them have time for them as space on our heart for them I think a wonderful bias to have as we navigate with other people or sometimes acting very poorly and sometimes quite unacceptably I think a wonderful bias to have is to bazoom that how they are acting is the best they can do right now and it may be a blog it may be wrong it may be it may be illegal maybe you know I’m not I’m not I’m not dismissing inappropriate behavior but I’m talking about I’m talking about how we regard this person ultimately in our heart and this person is still a child dodge it and I think it can make a world of difference if we presume if someone’s in a bad way and we may be paying some price for it and we needed to take some action to be safe for you may need to do something about this but ultimately how we regard this person is to presumably doing the best they can which may not be too well and I think this is what Jesus is in touch with Lisa’s blast stalkers based people who are a menace enacting a mess are well apprised of being cursed they’ve already got them and they don’t get our help with that but to pre some kind of intervention for them intervention of God’s light and God’s life and God’s love because god has it for them and the fact that we’ve been brought into their into their hemisphere but maybe something of God’s agency for them I think it can make a great difference to presume most of the time with most people what’s going on right now is there during the desiccant which may not be 21 which we open up open up our hearts for them my sense is that if we do not find compassion for someone we probably don’t know enough about them if we don’t find compassion for someone who they are what they are how they got to be the way they were if we don’t find compassion for them as we experience them we probably don’t know enough about them but as a story is probably amazing author unit still alive in this very moment we’re experiencing the founder of our community Richard miss Benson said 100 years ago he said the real movement in our heart should be from judgment of other people to compassion for other people to identification with other people is it a move from judgment of another person to compassion for another person to identification with another person and what’s behind fun Benson’s notion of this kind of movement around so long is that Jesus preaches one gospel there’s not this kind of smorgasbord gospel depending on you you know a category or it is one possible for prints or proper one it’s just one gospel because under are some days glittering images were all we’re all so much the same

when anyone renting gratitude gratitude live gratefully find compassion so you can bequeath dignity put yourself do that first get some help you needed than for others Philo of Alexandria said be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle that’s from the first century be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle gratitude tender regards for others and the third thing the third thing is a kind of heads up and it’s something that we retell the new brothers in the mana string it’s one of the promises we make and that is you’re going to be given a teacher not of your choosing then maybe not of your liking and this teacher is going to expose you you are so nice spiritual integrated generous poised you know all these good things which are true aren’t so except when they’re not and it’s going to be someone here under this roof was going to get under your skin and this is your teacher they’re going to expose you you’re going to get in touch with what you’re gonna get in touch with anger and you know what it’s your anger it’s your anger I mean think of this stuff a Dudley but what their bit o awakened in you miss your anger so we tell brothers when they’re arriving you’re going to become a teacher at least one and it will be an experience of kind of like velcro you know with a lot of interchanges we have in life feels like water off a duck’s back in our or is its lapping up the water you know but there are some encounters for some people with whom we’re prone to get stuck like velcro you know and it was two sides to velcro I mean they’ve got their stuff I’m not denying that we’ve all got our stuff but we’re giving your brother’s heads up they’re going to they’re going to discover your stuff I mean you’re going to discover your stuff through them I think the people who have a way of getting under s can probably belong there and people who could be very quick to write off tip and down to say like the Pharisee of the Gospels I think my god that I’m not like well if the government euless if they broken through to us there’s something of us in them and they come to us not to accost us but they they may be they may be God’s intervention in our life and enjoying presence and so this may be a person for whom for relevant writing off or avoiding a person for whom we might find it very meaningful to pray for and prayed thanks for thanks for what they have illuminated at our own heart which has been kept so nicely conceal under our loft but is now being exposed at least we know it making emissaries of of our own conversion proin change someone came to me just a couple of weeks ago and was lamenting how they act in life and especially how they act in life with the people who are most important to them people under the roof and they expressed some anger and then lots of tears and said to me I don’t think I’ll ever change and then asked me what I thought and I said I I think you’ve chosen the

wrong religion because the Gospel message is that Jesus presumes not only do we need to change that it’s actually possible absolute radical change as we become real whole teeming with life and God will bring us together with people who have got as many days as we are and this will be the context in which will be working on our salvation we really do need one another sometimes it’s experience if you know that image of rocks are a bad thing you know rocks in a bag and after they’ve shaken together long enough long enough time finding the rocks become polished read them it may be that experience some days or if they had experienced just a full of delight and amazement but Jesus has intention of changing us and making us real now for which we need enormous help for one another and you’ve got one another one last word from st. Paul’s letter to the Colossians that’s got chosen ones holy and beloved clothe yourselves clothe yourselves with compassion kindness humility meekness and patience bear with one another and if anyone has a complaint against another forgive each other just as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive above all clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you recall in the one body and be thankful