When the world seems particularly chaotic, crazy, paranoid, hateful, fearful, or just too noisy, I need the gentle voice of a great-great-grandfather-type. My go-to in these times is Jean Vanier.
In his book Community & Growth, Vanier says…
We have to remind ourselves constantly that we are not saviors.
We are simply a tiny sign, among thousands of others, that love is possible, that the world is not condemned to a struggle between oppressors and oppressed, that class and racial warfare is not inevitable.
We are a sign that there is hope, because we believe that the Father loves us and sends his Spirit to transform our hearts and lead us from egoism to love, so that we can live everyday life as brothers and sisters.
Sartre is wrong when he says that hell is other people. It is heaven that is other people. They only become hell when we are locked into our own egoism and darkness. If they are to become heaven, we have to make the slow passage from egoism to love. It is our own hearts and eyes that have to change.
A community comes about when people are no longer hiding from one another, no longer pretending or proving their value to one another.
A Christian community should do as Jesus did: propose not impose. Its attraction must lie in the radiance cast by the love of brothers.