If you live alone, whose feet will you wash?
(Warning: stream-of-consciousness post follows… just writing as I’m thinking).
The quote above is attributed to St. Basil, a fourth-century bishop, and one of the fathers of the communal monasticism of the Eastern church.
Basil was passionate about common life as the only place where people could truly grow to maturity in the faith. He taught that it is only in ordinary life with others that we have any chance of growing into persons and communities that are increasingly permeated with the values of the Gospel.
Without others, how do we grow in humility and patience, in solidarity and respect? Without others with whom we share life, how will we learn to embrace practical service to our neighbor? How do we learn to become a living body unless we have opportunity to serve and depend on one another in these small, everyday ways?