To be read: February 9, June 9, October 11
Having, therefore, ascended all these steps of humility, the monk will presently arrive at that love of God, which being perfect, casts out fear (1 Jn 4:18). 68Through this love, all things which he once performed not without fear, he will now begin to keep without any effort, as it were, naturally by force of habit, 69no longer from the fear of hell, but for the love of Christ, from the very habit of good and the pleasure in virtue. 70May the Lord be pleased to manifest all this by His Holy Spirit in His laborer now cleansed from vice and sin.
Benedict is prescribing that we form habits which will both enhance and establish positive patterns of behavior. If we are truly participating in a school for the Lord’s service, then we are learning the material by repetition. We study what is included in the curriculum and then practice it. We become proficient in it through repetition until it becomes second nature. Thus, as Benedict states in verse 68, “Through this love, all things which he once performed not without fear, he will now begin to keep without any effort, as it were, naturally by force of habit…”
We will falter in our steps toward true humility. But the Lord is a lord of redemption and invites us to make repeated new starts. And so we try again, repeating the steps until we “begin to keep [them] without any effort.”
One thought on “Daily Meditations on the Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 7:67-70”
I found myself behind in my readings of St. Benedict’s rules. But today’s call to return to the readings was perfect. (Funny how God works things out like that, eh?)
Two days ago was the Day of Atonement. A time when God calls us to reflect, repent, and rededicate.
As I read the last paragraph in today’s reading I was truly encouraged. Indeed, we try again, and again, and… once again. Knowing that the One whose mercies are new every day, who is super patient with His children will meet where we stumbled and strengthen us with renewed determination to get further along in our next attempts.
Such a truth frequently keeps me going.
Thanks for being faithful to make these readings available Fr. Bill.