As Lent approaches,
as New Year’s resolutions begin to wane,
as our faithful intentions for 2015 begin to fall by the wayside,
I want to write about what’s really important and how we figure out what that is. So, beginning next Monday, February 2, 2015, I will begin a new blog series based on a section of the Rule of Benedict. Benedict writes about the ‘ladder of humility’, using the image of Jacob’s ladder that connected heaven and earth.
The main resource for my writing is Joan Chittister’s commentary The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century. The reflections of this wise Sister on the rule of this wise monk point the way to gentleness, stability and peace in our time. Unabashedly Christian, Sister Joan pulls together the threads of many religious traditions (like her monastic compatriot Thomas Merton) to explore the fullness of God.
Here is where we begin: Benedict’s Magna Carta of humility directs us to begin the spiritual life by knowing our place in the universe, our connectedness, our dependence on God for the little greatness we have…..The goals and values of the spiritual life…are just plain different from the goals and values we’ve been taught by the world around us. Winning, owning, having, consuming, and controlling are not the high posts of the spiritual life. And this is the basis for social revolution in the modern world….what is most vital to the fanning of the spiritual fire is to become aware that the God we seek is aware of us..Sanctity is a conscious relationship with the conscious but invisible God….it is not a matter..of our becoming good enough to gain the God who is somewhere outside of us. It is a matter of gaining the God within, the love of Whom impels us to good….Humility lies in knowing who we are and what our lives are meant to garner. The irony of humility is that, if we have it, we know we are made for greatness, we are made for God. (italics mine)
I hope you will join me on this journey, make use of the ability to comment and converse here and sink more deeply into this vital understanding that can change not just our minds and hearts but can also, through the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit, change the world.