How to know you are called to Community

Someone asked how do you select those who will be a part of the community? First, I love what the Northumbria Community and others do, in that anyone can be a member of the heart. Through their prayer and participation in as much or as little as they can, they take an active part in the Community without living in it at all times.

For a deeper answer, let me turn to Vanier:

“Commitment in a community is not primarily something active, like joining a political party or trade union. Those need militants who give their time and energy and are ready to fight. A community is something quite different. It is the recognition by its members that they have been called by God to live together, love each other, pray and work together in response to the cry of the poor. And that comes first at the level of being rather than of doing. To accept being rooted in a community is more or less preceded by a recognition that you are already ‘at home’, that you are part of its body. It is rather similar to marriage; couples recognize that something has been born between them and that they are made for each other. It is only then that they are ready to commit themselves to marriage and remain faithful to each other….When someone visits a community and feels completely at home, in perfect harmony with the others and with the community itself, that is possibly a sign that they are perhaps called to put down roots there. This feeling is often a call from God, which must be confirmed by the call of the community. The covenant is the meeting of two calls which confirm each other.”

This is profound. It is a recognition that Community is wholly relationship, and relationship is commitment AND calling. You cannot be committed enough to generate a calling that isn’t there. If you are truly called, and available to the Spirit, you will find the commitment through terrible hardship.


About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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