Tuesday, April 6, 2010
April 5 – We Run the Zoo!
Remember Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran the Zoo”? Gerald McGrew thought he could do a much better job than the local zookeeper!
Let’s consider today, what would we do, if we ran the zoo! . . . That is, if we were put in charge of the monastery for a year. Is that a little irreverent? We don’t think of cloisters like that, not at all!, but without purpose and goal and discipline and authority, houses of monasticism would be scarcely more devout than Gerald McGrew’s zoo!
Think of all the questions we would have to consider and ANSWER, if we ran the zoo! What DOES make men and women come . . . and stay? How do dozens of monks or nuns dwell together in a unity that helps them grow in holiness instead of antipathy?
How would the monastery maintain a schedule of unceasing worship and faithful, unfailing devotion to work? How would it support itself and remain separate from worldliness and merchandising? How does the superior maintain authority without ever giving way to tyranny?
It is astounding to realize that each of us lives in just such a condition: each must rule his own heart and life in such a manner that the soul will STAY upon Jesus Christ, and advance in holiness without trampling those around us. We all know that God is worthy of unceasing worship, but that seems a goal too lofty to attain. We know that all our work should be conducted “as unto the Lord,” but have we learned how to leave the merchandising to those paid to do it; have we, in fact, learned to avoid worldly window shopping that leaves the soul discontented?
In short, in Cor Unum we must live in the world without becoming a part of it, just as we were told. Over all of those matters, each has a soul to command. The man or woman who will not captain the ship will not reach the destination.
It is a new morning. It is an Easter morning, as is every morning for those born again from the dead. How will we, in Cor Unum, run the zoo? We do not want to incorporate more and more exotic practices, but we do seek a walk with God that brings glory to Him and that strengthens us in the things that abide: faith, hope, and love.
If it’s early, let us consider what may yet be done to make this morning glorious in the heart of God. If the day is advanced, let’s plan ahead for tomorrow. Let’s go and find the Risen Lord, and like Mary who actually diverted Him for a few moments on His way to present Himself before the Father, let us cling to Him, and like Jacob, let’s hold Him fast and not let Him go until His blessing is upon us and the day before us.
"If We Ran the Zoo"
photo by Kerry