Community

“Vita communis est mea maxima penitentia.”

St. John Berchmans

Translation: Life in community is my greatest penance.

I laughed out loud when I read this quote. I’ve been known to say that if I didn’t have to deal with people I would be a really holy Christian (that should give you some insight into the depth of my self-love and pride). You know, that whole love your neighbor as yourself  thing can sure be a stumbling block to living the Gospel message. Oh yeah, that is the Gospel message isn’t it?

James Martin says that upon hearing this quote one of his Jesuit brothers aptly responded by saying, ” Well I wonder what the community thought of him. “

In light of my flesh, I’m not sure I’d want to know what the community thinks of me. Perhaps St. John Berchmans didn’t either.  🙂

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3 Responses to Community

  1. jeremiah17 says:

    The Gospel is..that Jesus died according to scripture, that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, all according to scripture.1st Corinthians. It is what salvation is based.

    • Amy says:

      Good technical point Jeremiah17.

      One could also argue that the “good news” or gospel of Christ’s life is more than his death and resurrection but also that He has set us free to love like He loves. His unselfish love toward us “his neighbors” is the very reason why he could willingly die on the cross and it’s what he asks of his disciples.

      So while you make a point based on the “letter,” you may have missed the spirit. Father’s unselfish, sacrificial, humble love demonstrated through His Son dying for unworthy sinners, this is at the heart of the salvation message which means it’s at “the heart of the gospel.” And if we, His disciples, are called to work out our salvation or live out this salvation message we ought to have “the heart of the Gospel” as our motivation.

  2. jeremiah17 says:

    if you do not keep these simple words in memory, your salvation is not, it is the foundation

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