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Jan 30

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  • russophile2002 <jeromeleo@earthlink.net>
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Lauren and 49 others in her office losing their jobs for State cuts. Lauren has a lot to deal with just now, her father is on
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2003
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Lauren and 49 others in her office losing their
      jobs for State cuts. Lauren has a lot to deal with just now, her
      father is on life-support after a major heart attack, so pray for her
      dad and all her family, too. Very tough decisions are facing
      them.Thanks so much! NRN JL

      January 30, May 31, September 30
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The second degree of humility
      is that a person love not his own will
      nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
      but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
      It is written also,
      "Self-will has its punishment,
      but constraint wins a crown."

      REFLECTION

      Ever notice how volunteer service feels so good and wonder why it
      does? Simple; it's because, for however short a time, we forget
      ourselves, that is if we are doing it right! (Sadly, there are those
      who carry their agendas everywhere, to soup kitchen, monastery, you
      name it... That's what we expressly seek to avoid!) We put ourselves
      behind others when we love properly and the message here is to love
      properly all the time.

      That's really what the root of all our monastic struggle must be:
      Love. We want the beloved to be happy and we forget our own wills to
      advance that happiness. In the process, we can reap great happiness
      ourselves!

      Of course, for us the Beloved is Christ. However, in His great mercy,
      God knows that many of us are neither great mystics nor passionately
      in love with Him. Hence vocations offer a whole spectrum of others
      through whom we may (and hopefully do!) love Christ. Loving His
      people is the route for some, loving a spouse or child the route for
      others, combinations of the above obtain for others still. Bottom
      line is that Christ must come first, whether in Himself or in His
      Mystical Body of others. Why do you think He said: "Whatever you do
      to the least of my brethren, you do unto Me."?

      Loving God is a matter of will for many of us, not emotions. It may
      later become emotional, but it may not, too. Our love of God is not
      gauged by how we feel, but by what we do. "If you love Me, keep my
      commandments." sums it up rather nicely. Much to my chagrin, I love
      God, but I am not "in love with" God. Sadly, I know the difference
      all too well! No amount so far of pushing or hoping or forcing has
      succeeded in changing my love to God into an passionate, emotional
      high, nor do I any longer expect it to. Might happen, might not. Not
      the question at all!

      Believe me, God can still come first in our wills even when our
      hearts are not swooning over Him. Would to God that I could feel
      contrition as deep for my offenses against God as I do for the times
      I failed my late cat, Dame Maggie. Oh, I loved her to distraction and
      she was so present, so real. So is God, but we often cannot ( or will
      not!) see that in the same way. It's not that I loved my cat more
      than God, I didn't. When I felt He clearly asked me the sacrifice to
      euthanize her, the one thing I had begged and prayed to avoid, I did
      so. In that awful last trip to the vet I was feeling very much like
      Abraham taking Isaac to the altar. What distressed me was that it
      FELT different, more intense to love her. One love was emotional, the
      divine love was will.

      Ah, but put another way, do you think for an instant that God does
      not know my inability perfectly, far better than I myself do? Of
      course He does. Do you think that any shred of His creation I truly
      serve serves not Him? Of course it does. In a way we cannot
      understand, all love of others for God's sake is love of God. Period.
      There is less to get upset about here than one might think! The mercy
      of God channels our love into other means that are, mystically, still
      Himself, yet more readily accessible to us. Any licit, moral love
      reflects to God. When I face Him, He will not say "You loved my
      people better than Me." He will more likely say: "Calm down! My
      people and I are One."

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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