Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28 – Of Oaks & Acorns

She chose to kneel, and rejoiced in the privilege of obedience. That, dear Sisters and Brothers, is the heart of monasticism. (See yesterday’s post!)

In her case, no Mother Superior, no Mistress of Postulants . . . just a desire to press in to know the Lord, just a request, “Father, show me a simple change that I can make – show me one that I WILL MAKE! – and grant me grace to be faithful in it!”

Of course, in Cor Unum, we do not always get to choose our own conversion! Sometimes conversion comes for us. Sometimes difficulties set in, and offenses do present themselves, just as Jesus said they would.

Sometimes the change we must make is one we would rather not address or fear we cannot master, but every tiny “conversatio” practice strengthens us for the unexpected confrontations with our own or someone else’s sinful nature.

Here in Cor Unum, we are ever reminded that we are always poor in spirit, that is to say that the humility of Christ is our very best friend. Our flesh so hates the things of God and is at enmity with all that is of the Spirit. We are not yet liberated from the body of this death, but the fragrant aroma of its cremation is not at all in keeping with the stench of its tyranny.

Have we never been in conversation with someone who was suffering a brutal teasing or a thoughtless ranting or a social persecution, and though it happens too seldom, have we not occasionally seen that one turn the offense into a blessing, stemming the tide of unkindness with a gentle and gracious and even an honoring answer?

We do not speak of the haughty response, the one that says or indicates, “Because I am a Christian, I will not shrink to your level,” but the one that looks into the eyes of malice and reviling and clearly sees … someone for whom Jesus Christ would gladly surrender His life, someone whose friend He will rejoice to be.

I hope she will kneel, and I should not be surprised if she does linger for a few moments, to worship, to regroup, to forgive, to ask, to recognize, to be sure that her soul in anchored in hope. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, here in Cor Unum, the monastery of the heart.

"Shady Lane"
Abbatial Photo

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