Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for June 3, 2009

February 2, June 3, October 3
Chapter 7: On Humility
The fifth degree of humility
is that he hide from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts
that enter his heart
or the sins committed in secret,
but that he humbly confess them.
The Scripture urges us to this when it says,
"Reveal your way to the Lord and hope in Him" (Ps. 36[37]:5)
and again,
"Confess to the Lord, for He is good,
for His mercy endures forever" (Ps. 105[106]:1).
And the Prophet likewise says,
"My offense I have made known to You,
and my iniquities I have not covered up.
I said: 'I will declare against myself my iniquities to the Lord;'
and 'You forgave the wickedness of my heart'" (Ps. 31[32]:5).

Some thoughts

The General Confession in the Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church reads:

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of you Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

A while ago there was some pop psychology movement that said that it didn't matter what we think, it was what we did with our actions that mattered. That could not be more wrong.

Both the reading and General Confession tell us thoughts matter as much as our actions. I will once again plug Sister Margaret Funk's excellent books: Thoughts Matter, Tools Matter and Humility Matters. For that matter, Jesus told us that it is not what goes into a person that defiles them but what comes out. What guides our actions? What fuels our words? What is the source of defilement for what comes out of our mouths? Our thoughts.

We can easily see how humbling it would be to tell someone else every possible dark thought we might have. I have some thoughts I am ashamed of, I don't want to tell them to anyone. And yet when I do share them with someone, they begin to lose their power over me. When I get them out of the dark and into the light where I can look at them and examine them, that is when I can see them for what they are.

I don't think I am entitled to think however I want to. I believe my very thoughts are subject to the work of the Holy Spirit as part of Her transformative work. Because even our thoughts are to be made brand new as they come to more and more reflect back to God His image and likeness.



Post a Comment

<< Home