Teaming up with others who are traveling the same road can turn walking alone into walking with others. Your self joins with other selves. You're no longer alone. You've made the healthy move toward community, where your communal self can be strengthened and nourished by others seeking the same goal. It's a matter of going from me to we. Gradually, that feeling of emptiness and meaningless gives way to Jesus' way of seeing things: focus on others. Other-centered living- that's the way to go. Religious Brothers live for others by sharing their gifts, their talents. And they do this supported by the bond of community.
Community living forms an essential part of the Brother's life. Jesus gathered His disciples about Him and worked closely with them. The Brother strives to do the same: with his Brothers, he both gives and receives that mutual support that comes from fraternal living. He prays, works, laughs, relaxes with his Brothers - just as Jesus did with his friends. "They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers. The group of believers was one in mind and in heart." (Acts 2:42;4:32)
A Brother takes his Christian calling seriously. He believes that Jesus has called him personally to continue His work. And that's no small thing. The person of Jesus, then, becomes the focal point of his ministry. Jesus spent much time praying. So the Brother builds his life around prayer. That's where he finds the motivation and strength to keep giving.
Because he takes seriously Jesus' invitation to commitment, he seals this gift of his person by vowing to live celibate, poor, and obedient - which frees him to concentrate on others. By being celibate, he offers his total person; by being poor,he lives simply; by being obedient, he serves where and how his talents will meet others' needs.
It's easy to talk about love, but the proof of real love emerges when a man comes to see others' needs as more important than his own. That's what Jesus taught and lived. Isn't that reason enough to want to do the same?
What's it like when you find a person who believes in you? Have you had that wonderful experience? And how would you like to become that person in someone else's life? We're talking reality here if your answer is YES.
If you're thinking in that direction, let us know. We'd like to have you share your enthusiasm with us.
Br. Guy Roddy.
2020 East Maple St. N.W.
North Canton, OH 44720-3396