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May 28

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX January 27, May 28, September 27 Chapter 7: On Humility Let a man consider that God is always looking at him from heaven, that his actions are everywhere
    Message 1 of 1 , May 28, 2003

      January 27, May 28, September 27
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      Let a man consider
      that God is always looking at him from heaven,
      that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes
      and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
      This is what the Prophet shows us
      when he represents God as ever present within our thoughts,
      in the words "Searcher of minds and hearts is God" (Ps. 7:10)
      and again in the words "The Lord knows the thoughts of men" (Ps.
      Again he says,
      "You have read my thoughts from afar" (Ps. 138:3)
      and "The thoughts of people will confess to You" (Ps. 75:11).

      In order that he may be careful
      about his wrongful thoughts, therefore,
      let the faithful brother say constantly in his heart,
      "Then shall I be spotless before Him,
      if I have kept myself from my iniquity" (Ps. 17:24).


      Most of us try to keep our worst secrets and flaws hidden from
      others, it's only natural. Therein lies the problem: it's ONLY
      natural, and we are called to the supernatural. If we all have a
      false self within us that we do see, the one we project to others,
      whom we wish to impress or whose affections and regard we seek, is
      even more false. We LIKE to be liked, that's no secret, but in order
      to be liked we try to make a secret of our seamier sides.

      We cannot fool God at all. Our false self is ashes before Him. If we
      think He sees only what we project, we have a long, long battle ahead
      of us. I hope it is true of all of us that at least some of that
      false self falls away when we are alone with God. The more we learn
      to see ourselves as truthfully and adequately as He sees us, the
      closer we come to genuine humility.

      What the Holy Rule is telling us is that our false self is ashes
      EVERYWHERE, that the only truth, the only self is the one seen by
      God. We cannot see all the truth of that self before death: God is
      infinite and omniscient and we are decidedly not. We must, however,
      strain our eyes to see every bit we can, seeing ever more and more of
      our truth until death calls us home for a complete view. Roman
      Catholic that I am, I'll bet when many get that complete view, they
      are MOST relieved to jump into purgatory for a (hopefully!)quick
      shower before the feast! I know I will be!

      One serious problem with religious life or ministry in the Roman
      Catholic church is that there is a rather generally accepted
      unwritten law that what is presented to the faithful and to the world
      is a false self. My church may give a bit of ardent lip service to
      the concept of wounded healers, but it does NOT like them, they make
      many in power terribly uncomfortable, even more so if the wound is
      even remotely sexual. Of course this stance is so wrong that, to my
      knowledge, no one has ever had the guts to put it directly into
      writing, but the message one is expected to convey to the "sheep" is
      pricelessly clear: "I'm OK and you are not...." Even more
      unfortunate, the real pros at this kind of stuff often present that
      stance with a greater than average level of arrogance. How winning!
      What a neat response to our mandate to gather souls in the net...

      That might actually work- false things generally do for a while, it's
      Satan's way of fooling us. It might actually reach some truly out of
      touch people, or some who have only a fleeting exposure. It does not
      work, nor does any false thing, in the long run. Some people may be
      helped in spite of our efforts, but to be really effective, we must
      be really true, really transparent. We must stand before others as we
      stand before God if we expect to bear real fruit.

      I am sure that many probably disapprove of my candor in these posts
      about my antibody status and my orientation. Hey, I did say it was a
      rather generally accepted unwritten law, didn't I? I cannot agree
      with those reservations. I think we often dress cowardice and false
      selves as prudence and send them off to the ball as unsullied
      debutantes. Sorry, honey, I can't pull that off: people would die
      laughing if I even tried. I also know what candor has done in my own
      ministry. I know that approaching flawed people as flawed myself is
      immeasurably helpful to them and a considerable relief to all
      concerned, as well!

      Over 1,500 years ago, St. Benedict called us all to the humility, to
      the truth that St. Thomas Aquinas defined as: "the agreement of the
      mind with reality." Amen! That was the truth he wished us to present
      to ourselves and to the world, as best we could. The closer we get to
      extinguishing the false self in every arena, the closer we are to
      God. The closer we are to God, the greater good we can accomplish for
      His Body, His people.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
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