I worshipped this past weekend in a wonderful way with wonderful people. I say the weekend because it extended far beyond a singular Sunday morning. It was time spent sharing in lives that had grown together, some over decades. This group contributed their love and their talents to each other, and they welcomed me into their lives like I was part of their family.
Two of them were in a play Friday night, and we joined to applaud their talent and hard work. Spectacular. We breakfasted with an extended family and enjoyed a spaghetti lunch where everyone loved each other so much they didn’t want to go home.
When we talk about attending church it is so much more than showing up one morning a week. It is sharing lives, with all the bends and twists, the joys and hardships. It means trusting and loving and serving.
It involves risk, and it is worth everything to reach this place of companionship and care.
What I experienced last week was the church, the Body of Christ, in riveting action. Living life together with depth and cohesion.
When St. Benedict set his rules of order in place he added to the typical call of poverty, chastity and obedience something else. He added stability. He required his followers to join a community and stay there. No flitting from one place to another, no seeking out another community because they might be ‘more spiritual.’
No. One place, one people, one God to serve.
And last week I got to share in the fruit of lives lived together, a foretaste of Heaven.