OUR GENUINE KINSHIP IN CHRIST
READ: Galatians 5:1,14
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom for the purpose of self-indulgence; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire Law is fulfilled in keeping this one command, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Galatians 5:13,14
Here at Greyfriars’ Abbey, we are known as the Brothers; at Sacred Heart Convent, they are known as the Sisters; throughout Christian history, followers of the faith have been known as he Brothers and Sisters. This is far more than a quaint custom, it is at the heart of the Christian Way … We are Brothers and Sisters in an ever-growing family.
The Brotherhood of Greyfriars’ and the Sisterhood of Sacred Heart are but specific applications of the spirit of Kinship that is expected of all souls who share in the life of Christ.
The Brothers at Greyfriars’ are truly my brothers, kinfolk who share with me a common ancestry, Christ our Brother, God our Father. Also the Brothers of Greyfriars’ understand themselves to be kinfolk who share in the work of the family business, this Christian endeavor to serve as ministers of God’s grace unto the needs of the world. We are all related to each other by a common birth, our new birth in Christ. We are all related to each other by a common heritage, the Scriptures and the history of the Church. We are all related to each other by a common Presence within each and all of us, the Holy Spirit. We are all related to each other by a common commitment, a sacred covenant mutually held, to be illuminations of the Christ lived in the midst of a human community.
At table last night, we experience a moment of serendipity, one of those surprising and revelatory experiences that the Lord occasionally does provide. We dine at four long tables that face each other, seeking to create as best as possible a sense of a family gathered for sinner in their home. During an especially quite moment, one of the Brothers began the struggle to hold off an impending sneeze … as if the moment were suspended in the flow of time, the rest of us all waited for the sneeze to come. The Brother, old Brother Paul, started his sneeze not once, but twice, three times, and a dramatic fourth. … And then … from the far end of the table, another Brother sneezed. There was a moment of spiritual reflection … quickly followed by a spontaneous communal laugh … a laugh which noted that in this Brotherhood of monks is so in oneness with each other that when one begins to sneeze, … another finishes it.
And that is really – when considered in a deeper sense – the way it is in this kinship found at Greyfriars’, this Brotherhood. When one cries, we all cry; when one laughs, we all laugh; when one hurts, we all hurt; when one rejoices, we all rejoice; when one struggles, we all struggle; when one is victorious, we all celebrate. And this kinship in Christ is to be found over among the Sisters at Sacred Heart, among the Orthodox Brothers at Saint Gregory Palamas, among the Brothers and Sisters at the many United Methodist churches I have served, and among the Gathered Loved Ones wherever they might be gathered … or, at least … it ought to be and, most likely, ought to be more so.
When we are adopted by Christ into His family, my Loved Ones, we need to remember that this means that we are to adopt our new brothers and sisters … for the Christian Way is not about me … the Christian Way is about Christ and the Christ who is shared amongst us.
Brother Anthony of the Cross
— For the latest installment of the ongoing story, The Mystic Realms of Shadow Fox, just click … https://greyfriarsabbey.wordpress.com/the-mystic-reams-of-shadow-fox/ … The installments are separated by ********* with the latest being at the end (obviously).
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