Monday, May 11, 2015

Consider Me a Believer

After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.  Acts 16:15

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.  John 15:26


Let the Abbess always bear in mind
that at the dread Judgment of God
there will be an examination of these two matters:
her teaching and the obedience of her disciples.
And let the Abbess be sure
that any lack of profit
the master of the house may find in the sheep
will be laid to the blame of the shepherd. (Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 2)


Are you making room in your life for Jesus?

No longer are the apostles locked in the Upper Room cowering in the face of the responsibility that they hold – the commission that they got from Jesus. They brought the word into the world and converted the likes of Lydia.  After Lydia and her household had been baptized, she prevailed upon the apostles to stay dwell with her. 

Today’s companion reading from the Rule of St. Benedict points out the dual responsibilities of the Abbess:  to teach authentically and to set a worthy example for her disciples to follow.  This carries on the commission that Jesus gave to testify to all that the disciples learned from him.

For the wordsmiths among us, disciple and discipline have the same Latin root.  Discipline is behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders.  Disciples are those who follow the teaching of a great master – like Jesus. 

In the life of a disciplined disciple, there are elements of obedience, instruction, self-control, and correction.  Sometimes, when the disciple prefers to remain in her or his own comfort zone, they need a little encouragement to return to the prescribed rules.


We all want to relax.  Life is a path of continual growth.  The tools we use on a daily basis can get dull if we do not attend to their care.  How are you sharpening your saw of knowledge?  How are those who follow your example doing?

As we wind up our Easter season in these next seven days, we will be soon reverting back to plain, old, joyfully ordinary days -- days which must be marked by the disciplined pursuit of piety, study and action.

If the Rule of St. Benedict is not of interest to you, perhaps you can look for another source of inspiration.  On some retreats and in spiritual direction, Fr. Joe McCloskey sometimes used “Place Me With Your Son: Ignatian Spirituality in Everyday Life.”

Whether Benedictine, Ignatian, Franciscan, Dominican or just Catholic, make sure you are sharpening your saw. 

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