Oct 3 and Prayers, Please
A happy feast of Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB, to all!!! Also, please
pray for Lesli and her unborn child. She lost her first child to
stillbirth. Pregnant again, both she and her husband have full-blown
chickenpox at present. Thanks so much. NRN. Love, JL
February 2, June 3, October 3
Chapter 7: On Humility
The fifth degree of humility
is that he hide from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts
that enter his heart
or the sins committed in secret,
but that he humbly confess them.
The Scripture urges us to this when it says,
"Reveal your way to the Lord and hope in Him" (Ps. 36:5)
"Confess to the Lord, for He is good,
for His mercy endures forever" (Ps. 105:1).
And the Prophet likewise says,
"My offense I have made known to You,
and my iniquities I have not covered up.
I said: 'I will declare against myself my iniquities to the Lord;'
and 'You forgave the wickedness of my heart'" (Ps. 31:5).
As the saying goes, friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.
There's something to that, something we all know and demonstrate when
something pleases us so much that we just can't wait to tell someone
else about it. Unfortunately, we don't often show the same eagerness
when something is wrong. Granted, our sorrows and griefs may be
shared, but often our most treacherous wounds and illnesses are not.
Neither are we particularly eager to let our areas of ignorance show.
Few things can be more pathetic (or more frustrating to those who
love them!) than a patient's refusal to tell the doctor that
something is wrong out of some misguided fear. "I was afraid he'd
tell me it was cancer ." Well, he might have, and it might be, but if
he doesn't know, he cannot treat it in time and it is a nearly
certain death sentence.
So it is with the spiritual life, the monastic struggle, and even
with 12 step recovery programs. Our wounds must be exposed and shared
if they are to heal. I can say from personal experience that, at some
of the worst crisis times in my own vocation, I resolutely kept my
mouth shut. Part of that was stupidly not wishing to upset anybody,
but another part was afraid that if I did, they'd help! God got me
through those times, apparently He insisted on doing so, because He
got precious little help from me.
Pick whichever popular image you wish for the monastery, school of
the Lord's service or hospital, but neither of them are going to be
much good if you are unwilling to let anyone know what you need to
learn or what ails you. Face it, apart from their primary goals of
education and healing, neither school nor hospital has much to offer
in the way of a resort. We come here because we ARE unwise and
unwell. Pretending otherwise is a huge disservice to ourselves.
Love and prayers,
Jerome, OSB jeromeleo@... Petersham, MA