Kelly Flanagan

Community is love you can see and smell and touch… Community is the invitation to be a mess when you need to be. Community is the joyful embrace of your complicated story. Community is the e-mail or phone call or text message that says, “I’m thinking about you, even when you are away.” And community is the grace-filled invitation to always return to a place, no matter how wrecked you might be. And if community is grace-with-a-heartbeat… the biggest barrier to community will be you. Because in order to receive the grace of authentic community, we will have to believe we are worthy of receiving it.

Jean Vanier

But how to be present to another? Our hearts are so hard. We are so insensitive to the suffering of others. We must pray the Holy Spirit to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh so that we may give life, for love is giving of life and liberty. By our confidence in another we can bring forth new aspirations and a taste for life in him. We can help the miserable person to live, to progress and to grow. And he will only begin to want to live when he has been told by our gestures, words, the tone of our voice, our look, our whole being that it is important that he live.