from Acedia & Me
The monastic perspective can assist us specifically with regard to understanding the value of community. Imagine for a moment that the people you encounter at home, work, or school are the very people God has given you to pray with, eat with, and play with for the rest of your life. And you are supposed to thank God for this, every day, several times a day. This is what monastic people take on. And what they've learned from this particular asceticism, in attempting to live in peace with themselves and with others, may constitute their greatest gift to us.
What struck me as I read this passage is that, in fact, it should not require any remarkable feat of imagination, because this is, in fact, precisely what God has done. Not perhaps for the rest of our lives, given our mobile society, but certainly for that entire portion of our lives while we live amongst these people.
What's important here is the necessity of thanking God for these people regardless of how we might feel about them, and thanking Him for the community that we have around us. Honestly, how many of us can claim that we do that faithfully every day? I don't see any raised hands on this side of the ether.