Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Mary F., second interview for a job she hopes is God's will for her.
V., hit with an unexpected tax bill (not her own fault,) and now faced with stress and worry about making it financially through the year.
Des, he had had his second hip replaced and was doing well, getting ready to come home when an outbreak of hepatitis C hit his ward so instead of moving home he moved into isolation ward... prayers too, please , for his worried wife Nancy.
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 21, May 22, September 21
Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works
To fulfill God's commandments daily in one's deeds.
To love chastity.
To hate no one.
Not to be jealous, not to harbor envy.
Not to love contention.
To beware of haughtiness.
And to respect the seniors.
To love the juniors.
To pray for one's enemies in the love of Christ.
To make peace with one's adversary before the sun sets.
And never to despair of God's mercy.
These, then, are the tools of the spiritual craft.
If we employ them unceasingly day and night,
and return them on the Day of Judgment,
our compensation from the Lord
will be that wage He has promised:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
Now the workshop
in which we shall diligently execute all these tasks
is the enclosure of the monastery
and stability in the community.
Employ them ALL? "Unceasingly, day and night,"??? Give me a break!
You have GOT to be kidding. There are lots of these I couldn't pull
off if I spent a year working on each one alone- and I do NOT have 72
years left, especially if some are going to take way longer than a
year a piece. This is beyond me.
You bet it is, folks! It's beyond all of us, but He isn't kidding,
and neither is St. Benedict. Both know something that our egocentric
eyes can miss- it ain't about us or our strength, it is ALL about our total
weakness and the complete triumph of grace. The effective use of
these tools is grace and gift. Any successes besides that are nothing
but clever gymnastics.
In fact, it is really all about our own wretchedness being lifted up and
out by the saving act of Jesus Christ. His grace, His help, His salvation,
these are, you should pardon the phrase, the whole enchilada. Our own
efforts without Him are nada, zilch, absolute zero. The closer we come
to see and know Christ, the clearer this fact becomes.
One very quick little thought: even the tools we do manage to
pull off using are not our own, we are to return them on the Day of
Judgment!!! Hey, before we fall all over ourselves, patting our own
backs for this or that, we are doing it all with borrowed tools!
Humbling thought there and a further confirmation of the paragraph
We need to ask God for His help and grace to become saints, we need
to ask Him for the loan of those tools of good works from His workshop.
The ability to become holy comes from God, from grace. No one at all
can do it without that. We must cooperate with His grace and mercy
and gifts. He is not stingy with His grace, but we must ask for all we can use!
We dare not say we are unable to be holy. Holy is not
linked to our ability, but to our receptivity to God's grace and His
mercy and will. He makes up for what is lacking in us, for lacks that
we could never supply. That's the wonder of all this! God uses our
weakness to triumph, God uses us to demonstrate His own omnipotence.
Our frailty becomes His praise. Wow!
Love and prayers,
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