Help Build a Better Future for your City and Creation

Help Build a Better Future for your City and Creation

Return to our Way of Life

We love our cities because we love our neighbors. Love your city like Jesus loves. Like Him, our love should serve others in humility. Together with God and others, support and help build a better future for your city and creation.

The love of God encompasses all things. God’s love for you is beyond understanding. It is a love that is emotional, spiritual, and physical. It encompasses all things. There is real tender care to the love of God. We can see this care in Jesus. It shows up in so many of the ways He embodied and expressed God’s love in the Gospels. In Jesus, we see that God cares about people and the places they live. Jesus fed people, healed people, ate with outcasts, overturned injustice, and more. As we carry our cross and follow Jesus, we should look for invitations from God to help build a better future.

When we work for a better future, we must resist the temptation to do so from a place of power. Instead, let us again follow the example of Jesus. It was Jesus that, being in His nature God, chose a life absent of power. An urban monastic should avoid helping from a position of institutional power (unless it is your vocation). Together with our neighbors, near and far, we can see the God’s restoring love building better futures.

A monastic life is not one of selfish retreat from the world. It is, in fact, a life of service to others. Living monastically places us into a posture of service to one another. It is a life of love for neighbors and creation. The focus on prayer and relationship with God bares fruit in our lives. Anyone who draws closer to God will see their love grow for others. God’s love for people and creation is a love that moves and builds. The love in the heart of Jesus moved Him to give His life for us all and continues to build His church. Love always leads to movement. Love is active. God’s love sustains us. The love of God is moving all around us. God’s love will be with us forever.

Let us be humble in the roles we take to help build a better future. Be aware that each thing we do builds up or tears down. With the help of God build and help others build. With tremendous caution, help to tear down what harms and oppresses. Let the Lord help us see the ways the love of Christ is infused into our lives and world. Celebrate the goodness God’s love builds into our lives. Sow seeds of love with your prayers, work, rest, and presence. Trust that the Spirit of God will water what is sown in love. Take care to tend to the work God invites you to. It is out of His grace and forgiveness that hope grows and a better future appears.

Invitations to Engage

  • Reflect on the ways you see God building a better future in your city.
  • Meditate and pray about what your neighbors in need would accept as acts of love given in humility.
  • What are ways that you can accept acts of love from your neighbors?
  • How have you seen your love for others increase as your love for God has grown?
  • Reflect on the ways you are helping. Does your help keep you from holding positions of institutional power?
  • Reflect upon the fullness of your life to understand the capacity you have to help build a better future.
  • Praise God for all the ways you see people helping build a better future in your neighborhood.
  • Make a list of ways you can sow seeds of love with your prayers. With your work. With your rest. With your presence.
  • How might God want to build a better future for you?
  • What things may need to be neglected or destroyed for new things to be built?
  • Where might God be inviting you to join the work others in your city are doing?
  • How do the ways you help build within you a sense of solidarity with one another?

Meditations on this Rule