How do we live in community while we are in isolation?
The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi says in part, “Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.”
Can we still do this from the confines of our own house or apartment? The short answer is yes. The more difficult answer depends on circumstances, but we all use some form of assisted communication: Facebook, Zoom, Skype, Facetime, email, snail mail, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Some churches record their services from the empty sanctuary. TV talk show hosts and their guests still broadcast, albeit from their own homes. Musicians record their individual parts remotely, to be remixed and broadcast via YouTube or other means–with some lovely results.
For each of us, “community” may have a different connotation. It might include family, friends, social media friends and followers. Living in community requires love, whether accomplished in person or remotely. I admit, I need to work on this much more than I have in the past. I hope God will help me change.
A lesser known writing of St. Francis is hopeful in that regard:
Jesus is happy to come with us, as truth is happy to be spoken, as life to be lived, as light to be lit, as love is to be loved, as joy to be given, as peace to be spread. – Saint Francis of Assisi
Much love to you and your community.