Holy Rule for Feb. 6
For the spirirtual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Suzanne, 47, ill for six weeks with pneumonia and no sick pay time.
Katrina's family, multiple needs and for her husband, John, and she, that they remain strong during this trials:son, Matthew 15, was just diagnosied with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) and his steroids are making him physically sick but they are helping with the stiffness in his joints. Also, we are being sued by the people aother son, Joe 18, had a motor vehicle accident with over three months ago. Also, my father-in-law just fell off the stairs and now has limited motion is in legs. AND my oldest son's application was put on hold for the college of his choice.
Scotttie, 79, knee replacement, and for her daughter, Liz, to be there for her and pray aright for all.
Kevan, a spate of TIA's, had a stroke in 2000, doctors trying to figure out what is wrong.
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
February 6, June 7, October 7
Chapter 7: On Humility
The ninth degree of humility
is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
not speaking until he is questioned.
For the Scripture shows
that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).
Well, you can safely bet that I fail this one right and left.
Obedience is essential to humility, but as we climb the steps, other
virtues that figure in humility are presented to us. Why is silence
important? Because when someone like me is shooting his mouth off all
the time, whether being really funny, or just thinking he is, offering the
world choice observations of his "exquisite" wisdom, what's really
going on is a desire to be at the center of things, to be star and
protagonist. Lights, camera, action! Why?
If I am bored- and I often am- I make a joke, create my own
excitement, change the human situation I have walked into to suit MY
needs. Maybe others weren't bored at all, even if they politely laugh
and seem to enjoy it. That trait doesn't say much for my depth.
I need to be entertained? Hello!?!? Can't I find enough material in
silence to keep me busy? What's really going on here? Short attention
span much? I can get so absorbed in elevating humor and speech as
positive, necessary goods that I can easily forget that both can be
tools of control, and control is not for the humble.
Naming that does not mean I do not have to work at change. I do. I
think it was Flannery O'Connor who said that accepting ourselves does
not preclude an effort to be better. Change may be so gradual that
none will ever notice, but every time I resist any useless temptation
to open my mouth, there is a small victory.
Face it, we think a lot of what we have to say is important because we
think WE are important, or funny or clever. We truly have divinely created
dignity, but that is not usually what is employed in making these decisions
Silence is not incompatible with charity or cheerfulness. Brother
David Gormican, OSB, of St. Leo, now gone to God, was a paragon of
this step (actually, of all of them!) Brother would speak first if he
needed something, but otherwise, he waited until he was spoken to or
asked something. No surprise that he usually looked very recollected:
When he was called on to speak, it was always cheerfully and
with something I can only describe as sweetness. I don't mean he was
sugary, I mean sweetness in the best possible sense. When Brother
David DID speak, one would never think that silence was unloving; all
his compassion and love just shone right through.
Brother David was truly a saint. No doubt, had he wished to run off
at the mouth as I do, he could have given you all much better and
deeper wisdom and holiness than me. But part of his holiness was
silence and his humility allowed people far less bright (like me,) to
talk all they wanted, unchallenged.
On the rare occasion when he wouldn't leave something unchallenged,
the weight of a well-chosen phrase or two of his would offset pages of prose!
Part of the reason his words bore such weight is that he was so usually
silent that people LISTENED when he spoke. Sadly, that is not true for most of us.
Love and prayers,
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