Community Soup

Posted by admin On April - 18 - 2012

Some of you know that I have been struggling a bit living in community. I think that what I expected and what it is are two different but not unlike things. Kindda like bean soup.

I worked as a server in restaurants most of my life and believe it or not, Monday was pretty much Bean Soup day in every one of them. And at all of the places I worked, the bean was navy or great northern, so my favorite bean soup is navy bean soup. Now I like black bean soup and pinto beans but navy is the bean soup for me.

You may be asking what this has to do with community? God knows that I am a visual learner so during my morning meditation the other day, He pointed out that my community was a pot of bean soup–11 bean soup! It ends up that we all bring something different to the mix. And while one bean, like navy, makes a pretty good soup, eleven beans means more flavor. more color, more texture, more of everything. And if you think of our friends and guests as onions, garlic, celery, carrots…well you get the idea. A wonderful mix of life, all in a pot of soup.

So, while navy bean is still my favorite soup and sitting in the quiet of the garden is still my favorite way to unwind, I am willing to give 11 Bean Soup and the bustle of the community room their fair share of my time too. Who knows, my life might end up with more flavor, more color, more of everything too.

Peace, Sr. KC


5 Responses to “Community Soup”

  1. Moe says:

    just read this. it helped bring a little peace to my heart. thanks!

  2. Sr. Rose says:

    I’ve never heard community life being compared to “bean soup,” but that captures it quite well. As you described it, it is really “mixed bean soup.” That’s the beauty of it but sometimes it takes some getting used to. Hang in there!

  3. Sr. Rosemary says:

    This brings back fond memories of sorting the gravel and blems from the hard Great Northerns with my mother and soaking them overnight. The next morning would mark the beginning of the slow cooking to transform the beans into either bean soup or baked beans replete with lots of dark molasses, salt pork and brown sugar. Yes, we are all beans in the soup–some small and round, some who soak up the water of life, some who bake slowly in God’s graces. Ann Marie and I were blessed to enjoy a formation weekend this past week with other sisters in our federation. We are all simmering slowly in anticipation of the Feast.
    Blessings on your continued discernment–and thank you for the great reflection!

  4. Char Soder says:

    Just might happen….Wishing you love and luck or is that perserverance…
    Your Friend on the journey.


  5. Sr. Ann Marie says:

    Being from New Orleans, Monday is always red beans ‘n rice day. I grew up not liking that New Orleans Monday staple, but as an adult I learned to love it. Last year a sister in initial formation asked me to make New Orleans red beans ‘n rice for her birthday celebration. That’s where the complications of community come in: I had to make it vegetarian for a vegetarian sister. I had to find substitutes for the onion and green pepper for another sister with a food intolerance to those. By the time I finished, it was not New Orleans red beans ‘n rice anymore! Maybe it was Minnesota red beans ‘n rice, but it was not “traditional.” I was not happy with how it turned out or tasted, but the lesson I learned is that it wasn’t what I put into my beans that made it good, it was who I shared them with. And everyone said they enjoyed it and cleaned the pot and their plates. Community can be challenging, but is always worth it!

    “I have other sheep…these also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:16

    Thank you for this beautiful and creative reflection on community, Sr KC!

Leave a Reply