Usually when I do a Deo gratias for an addict, sexual or otherwise, I add an intention for all the others who suffer. I forgot to do that and now amend my mistake. Prayers, please, for all sexual addicts, indeed, for all who suffer from any addiction. Every triumph is a gift and grace from God. May He fill them all with His grace as they bravely struggle to recover.
Prayers, please, for Br. Finbar of Pluscarden, on his feastday.
Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, and for all their loved ones and al who mourn them:
Dorothy, who died last week. May she and her husband and son who preceded her in death now be in the arms of God.
Paddy, who died of cancer and pnemonia, and for his wife, Jenny and their two children and two grandchildren.
Kathy, killed in a head-on collision, and especially for her family members Chuck, and the adult children of Elizabeth and Daniel, also for the driver of the other car, who is hospitalized.
Prayers for the spiritual, physical and mental health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who treat them:
Noelene, difficulty with a new medication regimen.
Ann's daughters, one has pneumonia and the other is having problems with her internship at work, Prayers, too, for a safe and successful trip for Ann, who will be going on important business in a place unknown to her. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
January 25, May 26, September 25
Chapter 7: On Humility
Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
"Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
and he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
In saying this it shows us
that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
when he says,
"Lord, my heart is not exalted,
nor are mine eyes lifted up;
neither have I walked in great matters,
nor in wonders above me."
But how has he acted?
"Rather have I been of humble mind
than exalting myself;
as a weaned child on its mother's breast,
so You solace my soul" (Ps. 130:1-2).
if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
by our ascending actions
erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
By that descent and ascent
we must surely understand nothing else than this,
that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
And the ladder thus set up is our life in the would,
which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.
At some earlier point in monastic life, a cancer entered X with
little struggle. X began a concerted effort of some years length to
gain power. It was not pretty for those who got in the way of
this "upward" mobility. Not surprisingly, X succeeded. Anytime we
seek something fatal to monastic life, we can count on Satan doing
all he can to help us!
So now, X has more power than anyone short of the superior and is
even a formidable entity to the superior who enabled all this
nonsense. And X has all but perfectly inoculated the monastic
struggle to nearly zero by doing the exact opposite of what God intends us
to do: become little, become less, become pliant. As so often happens
when Satan helps us along, X has not one clue of how treacherous this
whole mess has become.
X bought self-protection through control and that is a terrible fate
worthy of great pity. We did not become monastics to protect
ourselves, at least not in that way! Let us thank God that God's
mercy is unfathomable. Hopefully, X will be converted, but with little
help from X!! That power trip is not the way it's supposed to be.
That's not what we came here to do.
No way, folks, buy out of all that garbage. We ASCEND by humility and
DESCEND by exaltation! Own that, it is true! Look for its truth in
Jesus, our Master and our Truth. Jesus worked signs and wonders.
Jesus is God. He could have had Herod and Pilate and all of the Roman
Empire quivering in fear at His feet by a mere snap of His fingers or
less! But did He...? Nope. The way to the Throne above all thrones
was the Cross, it was spittle and hatred and whipping and nails and
thorns. Sorry, beloveds, it doesn't look like upward mobility and power-
grasping to me.
However, in the truest sense, it was both. In that paradox of inverse
climbing mystery, Jesus went upwardly mobile beyond any human dreams,
with a power over all that was absolute and real, because it was humble.
That is His alone, and none may aspire to it, but He tells all of us
the way up is to be little, humble, accounted as nothing.
The Christian, the monastic, whether newest Oblate or eldest Abbot, does
not climb over the heads of others less fortunate or ambitious. The
monastic rejoices at no clout, bathes and swims in the warm waters of
being discounted and ignored, even scorned. Let me tell you, the
bottom of the pyramid, or as close to that as you can possibly get is
an enviable place to be. Seek it with all your heart! And pray hard
for those who don't know better or have forgotten that they ever did!
Love and prayers,
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