Synodal Insights

After reading chapter sixteen, “Community: On Spiritual Companionship,” in Joan Chittister’s book entitled, “The Monastic Heart,” I extracted some excerpts that I believe are Synodal Insights on Communal Journey.


  • An Opening Prayer asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • Each person reads aloud the quotations (repeating two or three times).
  • Each person identifies and reads aloud the quotation that strikes them the most.
  • Everyone meditates/ponders on it: What insights are emerging for me? How can I apply the insights to my life and my community?
  • Each person briefly shares their own insights.
  • Close with a prayer.

“The truth is that only in community can you come to truly know yourself, as well as grow to the fullness of yourself. It’s in community that your intentions, your goals, your gifts, your genuine spiritual depth – and your spiritual immaturity – are exposed and tested and stretched.”

“The point is that you come to community to become the best of yourself, which means that the worst of yourself will surely be tempted there.”

“The strength of community lies in the differences that diversity offers. . . Community becomes the chain that binds the vision together.”

“It is exactly the community to which you belong – and the way you belong to it – that will determine what, in the end, becomes of your life. What the community as community believes and does and develops will mold what you really become.”

“Community reminds you that the human race cannot possibly thrive unless and until we open our arms to one another.”

“Community is clear and living proof that it is precisely diversity that provides the resources needed to bring resilience, creativity, ingenuity, and vision to the task of humanizing humanity.”

“We come to community to find the core of life and share it with others. Community is the commitment to carry others through their periods of darkness as they carry us through ours.  It is about sustaining others and being sustained when we have gone as far as we can go alone.”

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