This chapter gives us a history of the formation and development of communities, primarily Christian Communities, throughout the centuries up to present day. All seem to have their roots dating back to the model of the Jerusalem Church.
Many individuals are responsible for the formation and the success of communities. Here are some that I found fascinating:
Annthony – “Commitment to God wasn’t a matter of words, but of action”
Basil of Caesarea – “His goal was to balance the individualism and personal holiness of the desert monks with Jesus’ call to engage the world with acts of justice and mercy.”
Bishop Caesarius of Arles – “… believed that monastic ideals should be integrated into life of the parish church.” He gave sermons on prayer, fasting, chasity, compassion and social justice (radical Christian values).
Gerhoh of Reichersberg – “…if monasticism is the pattern for the church, then all Christians should be monks of sort.”
This chapter was a wealth of very interesting information especially for those in community. Each page seemed to offer hours of discussion and contemplation.
One example of that…
Social Justice was a common theme with many communities in the chapter. I couldn’t help thinking of Pope Francis and his recent message to the American Bishops, “Our response to injustice and exploitation must be more than mere condemnation. First and foremost, it must be the active promotion of the good: denouncing evil and promoting good.”
worth noting…the mention of Brother Roger, founder of the Taizé Community in France as an ecumenical religious order of Catholics and Protestants.
Eberhard Arnold founded the Bruderhof community in Sannerz, Germany, in 1920. There is a Bruderhof community less than a mile from my home (Bayboro Bruderhof zcommunity).
I hope this blog gets your brain reeling…lol