Friday, February 5, 2016

Family Spirit

There’s always been something about family dinners for me.

When I was growing up, my family had dinner together as often as possible, despite our busy schedules full of sports, extra-curriculars,  errands, or appointments. Sometimes this meant we were eating at 5, and sometimes we had to wait until 8 when the last person got home. But it was a priority, and if it was possible we were sitting together and sharing a meal.

I was not surprised to find that same goes for my community here on property. We are always busy at the MBCE, and there are many conflicting schedules in play, but we also make it a priority to share meals with one another. Some of my favorite moments as a volunteer in the past year and a half have been with my Esopus community, gathered around the table to share stories and food and laughter with one another. The best meals are those that include everyone on property, from each of the three houses, and any guests that are visiting as well. And recently, my parents were able to join us for a home cooked meal - by me and Luis!

The tradition of coming together for meals is only a small part of the Marist approach to family spirit. It's about creating a welcoming and safe environment for your community, trusting one another, and forgiving each other when something doesn't go as well as it could. Family spirit is a way of living, a way that makes anyone and everyone feel welcome.

In my community, I love that it allows us to simultaneously keep each other accountable when we make a mistake and help each other to move forward and make things better. I love that we put thought into our Christmas presents, that we share our favorite movies and shows with one another, and always check in that things are going well.

In the end, family spirit is practiced in relationships. I see God in all of my communities. I feel God's love when I feel this sense of welcome and acceptance and friendship. And I spread God's love by approaching my communities with care and honesty.

So I challenge you to think about what family spirit means to you, and to practice that... Maybe even with a community dinner!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I love community dinners as well!


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