Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jan 3 - Life is not a collection of asceticisms

366 Day 92 - Life is not a collection of asceticisms
Originally uploaded by Seton Droppers

The full text from Benedict's rule for today is:
Seeking workers in a multitude of people, God calls out and says again: "Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days (Ps 34:13)? If you hear this and your answer is "I do," God then directs these words to you: If you desire true and eternal life, "keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim (Ps 34: 14-15)." Once you have done this, my "eyes will be upon you and my ears will listen for your prayers; and even before you ask me, I will say" to you: "Here I am (Is 58:9)." What is more delightful than this voice of the Holy One calling to us? See how God's love shows us the way of life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see the Holy One "who has called us to the eternal presence (I Thes 2:12)."

The portion of Joan Chittister's reflection I found I was responding to is:
"In Benedict's mind, apparently, the spiritual life is not a collection of asceticisms, it is a way of being in the world that is open to God and open to others. We struggle, of course, with temptations to separate the two. It is so easy to tell ourselves that we overlooked the needs of others because we were attending to the needs of God."
I am called to live this spiritual life not running from responsibility and hiding out by myself but helping others and sharing with those in my community. In my case my community is my family and setting out a meal for my wife, who was running late and feeling cross this evening, is certainly responding to the needs of others.

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