The phrase, We’re in this Together, is certainly ripe with meaning not only during this pandemic but also as an understanding of how we perceive our responsibility to each other in community and as the Body of Christ.
By now, we’ve seen many commercials and hashtags, such as #AloneTogether, that communicate and remind us that despite our social isolation, our physical distancing from one another, we are not alone and that we are dependent on each other for our survival. We were never meant to be alone. We were meant to travel this human journey with other pilgrims, with other companions.
Early on in our faith formation, we hear the biblical story of Adam and Eve, of how God desired for human beings to have a companion, a partner, a friend to share the ups and downs of life. God did not want us to be alone. “It is not good for Adam to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” (Genesis 2:18)
Can we let this message of needing each other sink in and allow ourselves to be transformed by our interdependency that knows no geographical boundaries. Indeed, we, as a global society, are one human community with the same yearnings for love, acceptance, and to feel connected with others. This is evident more than ever during this time of pandemic.
This yearning to be connected with others and to not live in social or spiritual isolation from others is a lesson that we can take away from this time of physical separation. It is within community that our greatest growth occurs. As Henri Nouwen notes in his book, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, “without community, communion with God is impossible. We are called to God’s table together, not by ourselves. Spiritual formation, therefore, always includes formation to life in community. We all have to find our way home to God in solitude and in community with others.”
Community, of course, requires energy and a willingness to be vulnerable and to let others into the messiness of our lives. Our communal experiences as religious, as associates, as neighbors, as friends, as siblings all have the ability to both challenge us and empower us. Together, we discover who we are, where we need to grow, and what we have in common with each other. Sometimes we have to peel back the layers of our discomfort with others to see that our growth and ability to be in relationship depends on overcoming obstacles and being open to new ways of being with ourselves and with others.
Yes, we are in this journey together and with faith in ourselves, in each other, and in communion with God in prayer, we can become Christ to each other wherever we are and however we are.
“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Are you ready to explore community living and religious life as a Sister? Then, why not contact one of our vocation ministers to begin a conversation.