The companionship of girlfriends was very different from the community life I live now; but in none of those relationships did I really feel my gifts were so valued, or my weaknesses so accepted and cared for.I was especially struck by the phrase "my weaknesses so ... cared for." Isn't that what we need? Not just acceptance but to be helped in our weaknesses.
Brother Guy Consolmagno, Brother Astronomer
Brother Guy is talking, of course, about being a Jesuit and a Vatican astronomer. But I looked at that description and thought it might be the perfect one for what we long for in a community. My family is that way. Many of my friends, especially my Catholic women's book club, give me that too. I also think of another group to which I belong from which I do not get that feeling somehow, especially about my weaknesses. I used to but it has changed enough that it does not provide that support any more. They long to grow larger but I wonder if they can without providing more depth.
Does every group have to give us those feelings? No, of course not. But the ones that matter most to us are the ones that do.