Saturday, October 06, 2007

Reading for Feb 5, June 6, Oct 6

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 5, June 6, October 6
Chapter 7: On Humility

The eighth degree of humility
is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
by the common Rule of the monastery
and the example of the elders.

Some thoughts

This is another place where Benedict, did he but know it, challenges our modern confusion of individualism and individuality. Or perhaps individualism was alive and well back then too. The comments he makes about gryovagues and sarabites leads me to believe this is true.

We already know that Benedict has no truck with those who would buck tradition or make it up as they go along. Perhaps Benedict views this degree of humility as the one that demonstrates sincerity of purpose to follow and embrace our Lord? Perhaps also expression of one's originality is not a right but a privilege to be earned?

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

"It is better to ask the way ten times than to take the wrong road once," a Jewish proverb reads. The eighth degree of humility tells us to stay in the stream of life, to learn from what has been learned before us, to value the truths taught by others, to seek out wisdom and enshrine it in our hearts. The eighth degree of humility tells us to attach ourselves to teachers so that we do not make the mistake of becoming our own blind guides.

It is so simple to become a law unto ourselves. The problem with it is that it leaves us little chance to be carried by others. It takes a great deal of time to learn all the secrets of life by ourselves. It makes it impossible for us to come to know what our own lights have no power to signal. It leaves us dumb, undeveloped and awash in a naked arrogance that blocks our minds, cripples our souls and makes us unfit for the relationships that should enrich us beyond our merit and despite our limitations.

Our living communities have a great deal to teach us. All we need is respect for experience and the comforting kind of faith that it takes to do what we cannot now see to be valuable, but presume to be holy because we see the holiness that it has produced in those who have gone before us in the family and the church.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home