Prayers, please, for the vocation of Nathan, also for Daniel, 56,
robbed and murdered in a carjacking, and for Hank, liver cancer.
Continued prayers for Kaye, critical liver and heart problems and her
grandson, Michael, leukemia. God's will is best. All is mercy and
grace. Thanks so much. JL
January 19, May 20, September 19
Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works
Not to give way to anger.
Not to nurse a grudge.
Not to entertain deceit in one's heart.
Not to give a false peace.
Not to forsake charity.
Not to swear, for fear of perjuring oneself.
To utter truth from heart and mouth.
Not to return evil for evil.
To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to
To love one's enemies.
Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
To bear persecution for justice' sake.
Not to be proud.
Not addicted to wine.
Not a great eater.
Not a grumbler.
Not a detractor.
To put one's hope in God.
To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in
But to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to
impute it to oneself.
A beginning warning as we read these instruments of good works: don't
focus on the few you already can more or less manage! Lots of people
do that, carefully skimming over the ones they can't dream of doing
or fathoming, patting themselves on the back for the stray one here
and there they can. (E.g., "Hey, I don't murder anybody...") None of
us could do any of these things at all without grace and mercy. it is
all God's gift that allows us to do good. The most important
instruments of good works are the ones we HAVEN'T mastered... yet!!
Just a quickie on one of these: "Not to forsake charity." St. Paul
tells us that love never gives up. There is a similarity here to the
vow of conversion of manners: one never gives up striving for
holiness or the vow is broken. So it is with love: if we give up, it
Our worst enemies and annoyances can change- they might not, but they
can. When we give up on them, we deny them the ability to change in
our eyes- ever. This in no way impoverishes those who push our
buttons, they can change and grow or fail to do either quite
independently of our perceptions. It does, however, impoverish us. It
leaves our vision honed in that person's regard to untruth, when
Jesus, our God has told us that He IS the Truth. It denies us a piece
of divine Truth, of God. It means we are always going to find that
our jigsaw puzzles did not come with all the pieces in the box. That
should upset us more than it does.
One of the Dominican applications of their motto, "Veritas", Truth,
to spirituality is to justify study by Jesus' statement that He is
the Truth. Hence, every bit and fragment of real truth that
Dominicans gain in their learning is like one more piece of the
puzzle, one more shard of the shattered mirror of human consciousness
that reflects Christ. The more we learn of truth, the more familiar
His face will be to us when we finally see Him.
Jesus said He was the Truth, St. John tells us God is love. The two
are intertwined in the essence of God. They must also be wound
together tightly in our ways of loving, forgiving and knowing each
Love and prayers,