Sunday, April 22, 2012
April 22 – Whom Should She Envy?
We spoke yesterday of the training required to bring a half-ton beast into perfect submission to its rider. By what device? By the use of a small bit and a bridle in the hands of a skilled equestrian.
We also saw that Queen Elizabeth is known to have “a way with horses,” and she herself was trained by master horsemen.
We are the monastics of Cor Unum. What then, how, shall we apply ourselves to the training of our tongues? Brother James does not seem to hold forth much hope for us, at first glance, but since we know that cannot be the case, let us look to see what he really said. The time is long past that these “tiny members” should speak the sparks that set forests aflame, or pour bitter water instead of sweet.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
It would seem that envy and ambition are truly problematic! Let us consider Elizabeth for a moment. Whom should she envy? Not many for fame or wealth. She has a unique beauty; no, not the Marilyn Monroe type, but she could have gone for “Rita Hayworth" ("Angelina Jolie"),had she the mind to do so. Instead, she seems to have done an extraordinary job of being content with who she is.
Easy, we say, when you are born into fortune and prestige. Not easy, we should realize, when our lives are not much more our own than a galley slave, nor when, having beautiful and precious jewels and rich clothing, we must get up each day and wear them on display, like it or not. Her secret, we believe, is just what we have here in Cor Unum: calling and devotion. She doesn’t have time for envy or ambition; her life is streamlined and dove-tailed into one purpose, to be given for her people, to stand for them and with them, and she speaks toward that end.
Let us draw wise conclusions for ourselves here today in this heart’s monastery.
Playing Dress-Up - EVERY DAY