January 30, May 31, September 30
Chapter 7: On Humility
The second degree of humility
is that a person love not his own will
nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
"I have come not to do My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
It is written also,
"Self-will has its punishment,
but constraint wins a crown."
On some occasions, now that Mary lives with us, I get to look after
Comet, her dog.I know when I take care of Comet I try to be much more
careful than I am about many things. This is Mary's treasure and she
has trusted me with her. I don't goof off! I take extra care because
they know how dear she is to Mary.
See what I'm getting at? Caring for another's pet done right is an
example of coming not to do one's own will, but the will of one who
sent us. Monastic life done right would be looking at the whole of
our life and endeavor as pet care for God. Again and again, from the
greatest things in life to the smallest, He entrusts us with the care
of the apples of His eyes.
That extra care that one would take of a pet or, even more so, a
child one had been asked to watch, is the attitude we should have to
everything. This is mindfulness in the highest order. This is what
happens when the will we are obeying is Someone else's, not our own.
We take extra care with the things of God because they are His, not
Of course, the ultimate truth that this step points to is the fact
that NOTHING is really our own, everything is God's. We "own" nothing
in the absolute sense, that is, with the freedom to dispense or waste
or expend or destroy it with no responsibility at all for the common
good. Christians "own" things in stewardship for the good of all.
It may take all of our lives to realize it fully, but we are ALL
doing pet care for God, all the time, nothing less and nothing more!
And God, like many a pet owner or parent who entrusts their dear ones
to another, loves us very much for our carefulness!
Love and prayers,