The Following of Christ
You must learn to break your own will in many things, if you wish to live in peace and concord with others.
It is no small matter to dwell in a Christian community, and to keep on living in it without complaint. Blessed is he who has lived well therein, and has brought his life to a happy end.
You must be willing to be considered a fool for the sake of Christ if you wish to belong to a Christian community.
Religious clothing will profit you little as long as your habits do not change and you have not overcome your evil desires.
He who seeks in communal living anything but God alone, and the salvation of his soul, will find nothing in it but sadness and trouble. Nor can he long remain there in peace, who does not strive to be “the last of all and servant of all.”
You came here to serve, not to rule. Therefore you should know that you came to suffer and work, not just to visit, or to have a good time.
Here, in Christian community, we are tried like gold in a furnace. No one can stay among us unless he or she becomes humble, from the heart, for the love of God.
Geert Groote, 1340-1384, Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life, Deventer, Netherlands