Prayers, please for Rev. Dom Christopher Jenkins, OSB, of Belmont
UK, who died suddenly; for Alexie and Nathan, traveling to Asia; for
surgery on his lung for spreading cancer; and in thanksgiving for the
year old lady in hospice we prayed for, who was afraid to die. She
home to God peacefully Sunday evening. Deo gratias!
Some awesome good news. The CApe Cod Women's Center, a small shelter
battered women and children was in danger of closing in March when
asked for prayers. This afternoon one donor gave them $10,000 MORE
they needed to stay afloat. Deo gratias, indeed!
January 28, May 29, September 28
Chapter 7: On Humility
As for self-will,
we are forbidden to do our own will
by the Scripture, which says to us,
"Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
that His will be done in us.
And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
"There are ways which seem right,
but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
"They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."
And as for the desires of the flesh,
let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
when he says to the Lord,
"Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).
This is from last year, I confess. Had I not resorted to a repeat I
never have gotten today's out at all. Sigh....
Parents, why don't you let your children do whatever they want?
Because their judgment is flawed, they lack experience, they would
not choose what is best, but only what is easy and most pleasing to
them. They would choose short-term benefits, often hollow, over long-
term remedies. All would agree that giving a child such free rein
would be disastrous.
So it is with all of us. Our will is flawed, period. Whatever the
other effects of the fall in Eden, one of them was that our wills
came out of it all as very prone to wrong choices. Every major
religious system urges one to abandon self-will, to one degree or
another. It is a hallmark of the spiritual quest.
We tend to be very defensive of our own will, our (alleged!) autonomy
and self-determination. Initial reactions to telling us to abandon
our wills are not always very calm! Still, the presence of spiritual
directors in any age, to say nothing of their current popularity in
our own age, proves the wisdom: it is very unhealthy to attempt
to "go it alone" in the area of our own will.
The twin protections of humility and obedience help us turn from our
will, but they don't guarantee it! Fr. Thomas McCarthy of St. Leo
Abbey, now gone to God, once said to me: "You give everything to God
on the day of your profession and then spend the rest of your life
trying to take it back, little by little!" Well, at least a superior
is something of a stopgap to how much (or how fast!) we can take it
Love and prayers,
Jerome, OSB jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA