Prayer and Work

About the good zeal of monks

As more rain was predicted here, I heard an official of the Army Corps of Engineers on the radio, urging people reluctant to vacate their homes on banks of the Illinois River, warning listeners that water is a powerful force that can destroy anything made by humans. I was taken aback for a moment, thinking how much of our bodies are made of water, how water is a source of life for us, and a symbol of initiation, cleansing, tranquility, recreation, purity and much more that is good and life giving. But of course, the engineer was also right and hopefully, people acted on his advice.

This reflection on water brings me to the subtitle of this blog, a blog of good  zeal. Near the end of his Rule, St. Benedict points out that zeal (or passion) can take different directions – for destruction or for life – and he definitely encourages monks to foster good zeal which he describes thus: They should each try to be first to show respect to the other, supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. No one is to pursue what she judges better for herself, but instead what she judges better for someone else. To their fellow monastics they should show the pure love of sisters, to God, loving fear, to their prioress, unfeigned and humble love. Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life. RB 72: 4-11

To really be a blog of good zeal, then, it seems the time is coming to invite some people, some others, to be part of it. I have to summon up the courage and the good zeal to do that!

Admiring its reflection in a new puddle, a cottonwood tree anticipates a long, cool drink thanks to spring rains.

Admiring its reflection in a new puddle, a cottonwood tree anticipates a long, cool drink thanks to spring rains.

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This entry was published on April 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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