This is an interesting chapter, and I am not exactly sure where to start. Contending with illusions within the realm of the church is a challenge. There are those who adopt doctrine hard and fast and have the illusion that others will follow suit. Yet that is not the case. The church is made up of many with their own conscience and mind. They may choose not to adopt all aspects of doctrine.

The chapter speaks to true fellowship. My question would be, are we as a community engaged in true fellowship in spite of our shortcomings and personality quirks? Could we live with one another if we suddenly were no longer a dispersed community? I have often wondered about that over my 12 1/2 years of religious life. Where are we in relationship to our ego?

The chapter mentions the challenges of community life in that we choose our friends but not our brothers and sisters. This is true. How do we go about working together, communicating with one another, and most important of all, buffing off the rough edges that make community challenging? Perfect harmony in a community is, at most, a weak illusion.

Community is indeed a school of love where we can learn to love one another, lift each other up in times of crisis, and, most of all, come together as a powerhouse of prayer. This does not occur without work and persistence. We come to the community when we clear away illusions of what ideal community life is and come to terms with the reality that it is sometimes hard, and we do not go at it alone. These are my thoughts on this particular chapter, and I welcome yours.

Love in Christ,

Bro. Therese MIkel Francis