We have come to know that, as we live alone before God, as alone we seek to know and worship Him, we are “marketplace monastics” in this new century. No one can love God on our behalf, and no one can obey Him for us, but each of us can determine to bear His image in the earth (Romans 8:29) and to become worshipers of God during the days we have been given here. This is monasticism, in our hearts. We stand alone before God, but thanks to the life us His Son, we stand alone with Him . . . NEVER ALONE no matter how isolated our lives may be. What's more, we stand alone with millions of others who do just the same!
Here in Cor Unum, in the cloister within our hearts, we dwell with Jesus Christ, and He abides with us. From that one overwhelming and far-reaching fact, we begin to order our lives. He will not do for us, mechanically. We can be thankful that He sets boundaries and gives us vision. We must provide the rudiments of choice; each day we may seek Him and walk in His paths, or not. If we do not, for instance, read our Bibles today, we are not consigned to hell; bad luck will not begin to stalk us. If we do read His Word in His Presence . . . here in Cor Unum Abbey, we believe that it will make a real and a divine difference. That's our monasticism, condensed. We don't make our devotional choices out of fear or pride; we are just making sure that we walk with the God we love.
In Cor Unum we respect the boundaries that are in place, and we treasure the vision and hope of becoming “like Christ.” (1 John 3:2) We know that we need sleep, and we need food, we need to get some exercise, we have jobs and responsibilities to attend, we need time with God, and we need to train ourselves in righteousness. (1 Corinthians 9:25, 1 Timothy 4:7, Hebrews 5:14) Thus, we begin to formulate our own Opus Dei, the “Work of God” that belongs to us individually, the weaving of activity and rest, devotion and duty, all to His glory.
Here is a wonderful, illuminating assignment . . . take paper and pencil today during your time alone with God, and ask Him to show you the goals of your heart. Make three lists, and make them as complete as you can.
One . . . list all the things that you need to do as soon as possible.
Two . . . list everything that you want to do as soon as those are done.
Three . . . list those things that you want to have in place for the rest of your life.
Here’s a sample list:
· List One . . . wash windows, call the dentist, pray daily for ______________
· List Two . . . plant garden, spring cleaning, memorize Scripture, gym membership
· List Three . . . regular intervals of worship, develop a merry heart, pray for the children
Your lists should be much longer than that! Try to include everything that lives in your heart regarding your home, your family, your personality, your worship, your job and responsibilities, your talents, your dreams, and your devotional life. List the things you want to hold onto, and the things you want to let go. When you have finished, circle or mark the three most important items on each list. God bless you today, bless you to have a fruitful day of accomplishment and joy.
Tomorrow we shall see what we can do with this somewhat revealing exercise!
by permission, Joop Anker
by permission, Joop Anker