In any of our groups right now, there is a deep gap. It is between the life that is, and the life of Christ that could be. This should not discourage us—only compel us to a joyful pursuit of patient growth. Devotion together is the path—finding the postures and practices that promote both a vibrant inner personal life and an honest and engaged community life with other Christians.
“The more one is united to his neighbor the more he is united to God,” said Dorotheos of Gaza, whose deep life of personal prayer only drove him to deeper life in community with others. At the center of his saying is a paradox that only deepens the more you think about it: we are strongest alone when we have been together, strongest together when we have a true and vibrant life alone. It doesn’t take a life in the desert to show you that.
—Paul J. Pastor is author of The Listening Day: Meditations on the Way (Vol. 1) (Zeal Books, 2017), and deacon of spiritual formation at Theophilus Church in Portland, Oregon. Get your free discussion guide for The Listening Dayhere.