To open ourselves to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is to enter a new relationship with God.
It is a relationship not just with the Father but also with Jesus and with His Spirit. It is a relationship not just between us and God, but between us and everyone else who surrenders to the Father, acknowledges Jesus as Lord, and receives the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is the relationship which we find in community. It is the igniting of the explosion which goes on to this day.
Richard Rohr, from Great Themes of Scripture: New Testament, p. 91
Community. Even if God calls us to a life of prayer in solitude, community—the condition of being part of the Body of Christ, caught up in the holy and terrible life of the Trinity—is essentially who we are as Christians. The Desert Fathers and Mothers lived in loose communities or sketes; the medieval anchoress or anchorite, like Julian of Norwich, lived in a cell or “anchorhold” built against the wall of their local church, with a window into the church and another onto the street; the Orthodox poustiniks of Russia were attached to the village and its church near which they lived.
I pray that in these troubled times, especially in the worldwide Anglican Communion, none of us will ever forget this. We cannot live alone; members of any living body, if severed, do not live a wild and fruitful life: they die and rot. I cannot bear to think of my sisters and brothers like that. We must remain in community even when it hurts, even when we cannot for the life of us think what we’re doing there—only as part of a Eucharistic community can the life-blood of Christ, bearing the oxygen of the Spirit, flow freely in our veins.