I entreat you with all my heart, *
be merciful to me according to your promise.
We must then be on guard against any base desire, because death is stationed near the gateway of pleasure.
Benedict's Rule 7:11 (Chittister, Pg. 80)
Choosing God means having to concentrate on nourishing the soul rather than sating the fleshRemember, the call is for nourishment of the soul, not denial of the flesh. A sentence later Sister Joan reminds us this is about not giving ourselves entirely to the pleasures of the body.
Chittister, Pg. 82
I don't need to worry about never having a pleasant and fulfilling meal, or the joy of feeling my body respond during a workout, rather I need to watch for living my life only for the pleasure of the body. Having made a commitment to the spiritual, I am called to make choices which favor spiritual growth rather than only spending time satisfying myself.
When I think about it again the choice is much simpler: It is just a choice to spend time with God rather than by myself. Or maybe, it is the choice to include God when I am by myself.
A Note To Anyone Reading:This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.
Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book.
Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.
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