Culture of Imagination

connecting spirituality to everyday life

Category: The Communal Imagination quotes

Humility and Vulnerability – Quotes from The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together

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  • Having the imagination to see Christ in others

“Loving others by seeing the value and mystery in and through them is about having the imagination to see Christ in others.  This is a radical thought!  Does Christ really live in each and every one of us even if we have not ‘accepted’ Christ in our lives?  I think he does in some mysterious way that we cannot understand.  I believe there are dimensions of Christ that live in all of us.  How could they not?  We are created in his image.  Not some people but all people…”

  • The different faces of God

“The different faces of God are manifested through our relationships.  Our understanding of God is a constant evolving process throughout our entire lives.  We learn of God relationally through others in the context of everyday life together.  The face-to-face interaction between us manifest relational revelations in the parish.  What a wonderful thought that is!  I can find Christ in you just as you can find Christ in me.  Without being in relationship it is hard to understand Christ in the particulars of everyday life.  So we need to make space for one another and be generous with our time.  Being with others as a way to demonstrate love could unleash relational miracles just waiting to happen among us.”

  • We need to unlearn so many things

“We need to unlearn so many things that we have practiced for so many years that have left us disillusioned.  We need to unlearn the practice of being in a relationship with others that is void of risk and humility.”

  • A powerlessness of humility and vulnerability

“The communal imagination takes on a powerlessness of humility and vulnerability in the place it inhabits.  It listens to its place in holistic ways.  It respects the value of the people who live there…”

  • To have respect for one another

“Humility and honesty are core to our spiritual development as the body of Christ in everyday life.  They help us to get along in life, to have respect for one another.  We need to embrace them by our own choosing before life crushes us and we are left limping and bleeding from the wounds of our own making.”

  • A spirit of gratitude

“Listening is intertwined with a spirit of gratitude.  We cannot embrace life as a gift if we cannot listen to all the subsidiaries of life in and around us.  We learn to notice things that would be unnoticeable when we practice gratitude together…”

  • A life of simplicity

“What will people think if we live a life of simplicity?  We might stand out too much and become something other than the status quo.  But it is worth the risk.  When we embrace simplicity, it will shape us in ways we cannot understand.  Simplicity redefines everyday life and all our relationships.  It helps us to become integrated with the communal imagination…”

  • Financial wealth, affluence, and power

“We prefer to focus on all the things that promote financial wealth, affluence, and power, while focusing much less on what promotes true life together…”

  • Individualism, fragmentation, and loneliness

“How can we be the body of Christ together in the day-to-day of life despite the individualism, fragmentation, and loneliness we all experience at times?”

Which quote stands out to you?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425650383&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Putting Off Dreams of Ambition and Success – Quotes from The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together

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  • Our faithfulness together in the ordinary

“The ordinary is where life is lived in a real place with real people.  God works through ordinary life, ordinary people, and in ordinary neighborhoods.  There is no hype here, only reality.  Our shared life together in the place that we live in is only as good as our faithfulness together in the ordinary…” 

  • We need to stop trying to change or fix others

“We need to stop trying to change or fix others.  This is the call of being present to others out of love for them.  Presence has an attentiveness to it.  We need to be present to one another as friends who care deeply and love…”

  • Engage with grace

“We never know what will surface as we interact with one another in our neighborhood, but we must be willing to engage with grace the life we find there.  ‘Glories’ and ‘tragedies’ will manifest themselves all around us all the time.  So we must find a posture of grace in our relationships that does not get overly focused on the glorious ‘wish dreams’ to the exclusion of the unpredictable tragedies in life…”

  • Expressions of grace, compassion and love

“We will become broken.  No question about that.  This is part of life.  If we break apart, we will find bitterness and anger.  If we break open, we will become expressions of grace, compassion and love.  This is the kind of life that one who is broken open will manifest to others in the parish.  The pain and destruction we do to our lives when we choose to be broken apart is frightening.  We destroy our humanity in the process.”

  • The beauty of each other’s humanity

“What a shame that people forget the beauty of each other’s humanity…”

  • Humility and risk

“In order to risk all that we are to follow Christ, we have to live in humility and risk being in relationship with others.  There is no way of being in relationship with Christ without being in relationship with one another.  The humility that is required to live this way is intense and needs to be constantly cultivated in our everyday lives together…”

  • When we are weak and vulnerable

“When we demonstrate some humility and practice vulnerability with one another, that is when we are most fully walking in the Spirit of Christ.  When we are weak and vulnerable, that is when we experience God’s power within us.  A theology of place can only be lived into through vulnerability…”

  •  Honesty and truth

“We need to become people of honesty toward one another in the parish.  Honesty is a manifestation of truthfulness with one another.  Honesty is authentic.  Honesty is vulnerable.  Honesty embraces powerlessness.  Honesty is about learning to face one another.  Honesty is hard.  We can learn to have the humility to be honest with one another in our relationships.  But we must have the willingness to live into truth with one another.  Truth is honest.  Truth is about authenticity.  Truth is relational.”

  • Gratitude is healing

“This has been one of the most difficult things in my life for me to understand.  Gratitude is healing for my body.  Having lived relationally in my locality for many years now, I have discovered that practicing gratitude is essential if I am to sustain my relationship with others, with God, and with myself.  Gratitude brings about a mystical sanity that helps us to walk in humility with one another.”

  • A communal imagination of relational humility and collaboration

“It is so easy to forget the more holistic identity of becoming great through becoming the servant of all.  We are not called to be ‘critics.’  We are not called to be ‘cynics.’  We are not called to be ‘escapists.’  We are not called to be ‘controllers.’  We are not called to be ‘isolationists.’  What we are called to as the body of Christ together in everyday life is a communal imagination of relational humility and collaboration…” 

  • Consumed with dreams of ambition and success

“Our personalities are consumed mostly with dreams of ambition and success.  We so easily become addicted to what money gives us: the power of autonomy, the ability to create our own lives apart from the community we live in…” 

  • A culture that prizes independence

“We have been raised in a culture that prizes independence, and most of us are unconsciously trained as children to think of it as the good, Christian, American way.  But this individualistic way of life has been taken to the far extreme, and it is killing our imaginations.  We are biologically constituted for interdependence and shared life.  We do not make our own lives, but we allow others to influence and be influenced by us.  Extreme individualism is not healthy for a person, let alone an entire culture…”

  • We need to get reconnected with a place

“Each person’s journey back into place will be different.  But we need to get reconnected with a place, a local context to inhabit as the body of Christ in our day…”

What is your favorite quote?  Have you read The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together?  What stood out to you in the book?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425227933&sr=1-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Quotes from The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together

“This book covers essential territory for building healthy communities of Jesus for the long haul.”  Kelly Bean, co-founder Convergence, author of How to be a Christian Without Going to Church

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  • Valuing the small things in the particulars of everyday life

“A relational call to love as the body of Christ in the parish seems small, but it’s not…  The small things are hard to value in a culture that craves anything but the small.  We think the small will make us seem nonexistent and invisible.  We want so much to be noticed that we have taken our life into our own hands and forgotten the small acts of love in the neighborhood.  When will we realize that love is the only thing that miracles are made of?  The communal imagination loves the small things in the particulars of everyday life…”

  • Becoming disillusioned with loving our ideals of community

“We always face a great tension between the ideal of what we want life to be like and the reality of life as it is.  The communal imagination is not built on a ‘wish dream’ or an illusion, but on reality.  We will struggle sometimes to figure things out relationally in the parish.  It is not always easy and we might often fail.  But we need to keep trying to learn to live with grace towards one another.  Without grace, we will build our lives on a lofty illusion of how things ought to be with little contact with reality.  What we are building will not last very long without grace.  When we love our ideals of community more than the reality of the community, we will become disillusioned and bring an oppressive agenda into it that will quickly poison everything around us.”

  • Getting down to what is right in front of us

“We need to stop trying to change or fix others.  This is the call of being present to others out of love for them.  Presence has an attentiveness to it.  We need to be present to one another as friends who care deeply and love.  We will have to let go of some control.  We will have to let go of the cliché that we can ‘change the world.’  This vision is too big, too abstract.  Let’s get down to what is right in front of us: real people in real life contexts who live in our neighborhood.  These are the people we are called to love and become faithfully present to relationally.”

  • Bringing grace into our deepest conflicts and struggles

“We cannot share life together in the parish without this gift of forgiveness and grace infusing our relationships.  We like to talk about God’s grace in terms of our own forgiveness, but when will we shift to a new paradigm of translating that grace into our deepest conflicts and struggles to love one another?  This would be a miracle indeed.”

How can we do the small things and live relationally as the body of Christ in everyday life?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Communal-Imagination-Finding-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399035843&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination