Prayers, please for Jan, for whom we have prayed, who died yesterday.
Prayers, too, for his wife, Jean, at this difficult time. Prayers for
one undergoing retinal surgery today, also for the success of a
parish grief group and thanksgiving for its initial gathering. Please
pray for JRC, facing a protracted and terrible life crisis and for
employment for a professional according to God's will. God's will is
best. All is mercy and grace. Thanks so much. JL
March 12, July 12, November 11
Chapter 34: Whether All Should Receive in Equal Measure What Is
Let us follow the Scripture,
"Distribution was made to each
according as anyone had need" (Acts 4:35).
By this we do not mean that there should be respecting of persons
(which God forbid),
but consideration for infirmities.
She who needs less should thank God and not be discontented;
but she who needs more
should be humbled by the thought of her infirmity
rather than feeling important
on account of the kindness shown her.
Thus all the members will be at peace.
Above all, let not the evil of murmuring appear
for any reason whatsoever
in the least word or sign.
If anyone is caught at it,
let her be placed under very severe discipline.
One reason murmuring is so strongly proscribed here is that its
origin in this case is likely to be from jealousy. Jealousy is a
terrible thing in any human being, but even more treacherous when the
people involved have to live and work together in community. Jealousy
is a sure sign that one has not arrived. Perfect monastics simply
don't care about such stuff! (If they did at all, it would only be to
rejoice for the other!)
Yet many of us- myself roundly included- can still find jealousy
rearing its ugly head from time to time. It is part of our fallen
human nature, it is also part of us that has not grown up yet: an
inner child that is still screaming "Mom ALWAYS liked you best!"
Sigh... Jealousy cannot live without ignorance or falsehood, so
reality checks may be helpful, shaking ourselves awake to what is
true and real, reminding ourselves what we do NOT know and cannot
know about another's situation compared to our own.
Did we but know the gift of God! Ah, but we most surely do NOT know
it! If we did, we should be far, far more grateful for the different
ways He deals with people. We should be relieved that we have not the
gifts of others, since we have not their peculiar circumstances or
vocations or personalities to deal with those gifts. We should also
be able to more clearly see how richly- and utterly appropriately- we
ourselves have been blessed. God is no wretched giver, and we are ALL
swathed in His unfathomable mercy.
Love and prayers,