Vanier, on community

Vanier, on community
This quote is too long to tweet, but too good to ignore.

I’m reading through Common Prayer, and it’s been nourishing to the soul. It’s nice to have a daily devotional that attempts to bring more than a medieval, European spirituality, and also highlights more than just a pietistic, in-the-closet kind of faith. It attempts to meld the richness of liturgy and tradition with serving and blessing those on the fringes.

The book is particularly helpful when I’m feeling lost for words in approaching God, and I’ve found myself grasping on to it as a tether to God — more than I originally thought I would.

But this is a long explanation for the quote on community. This comes from L’Arche communities, which foster relationships between those with and without intellectual disabilities.

“Almost everyone finds their early days in a community ideal. It all seems perfect. They feel they are surrounded by saints, heroes, or at the least, the most exceptional people who are everything they want to be themselves. And then comes the let-down. The greater their idealization of the community at the start, the greater the disenchantment. If people manage to get through this second period, they come to a third phase — that of realism and of true commitment. They no longer see other members of the community as saints or devils, but as people — each with a mixture of good and bad, darkness and light, each growing and each with their own hope. The community is neither heaven nor hell, but planted firmly on earth, and they are ready to walk in it, and with it. They accept the community and the other members as they are; they are confident that together they can grow towards something more beautiful.”