The following was penned by the amazingly brilliant and inspiring Joan Chittister...a text with which I’ve begun my morning, along with a slice of homemade pumpkin bread and Mark Johnson’s home-roasted coffee.
On one level, I notice a theological statement embedded here about how the church might best understand its role in society. But on a much simpler and more personal level, I sense my pride being challenged, along with my anxiety, my insecurity and tendency to compare, my desire to control, my indifference to others’ needs, and my blindness to where God can be found. Perhaps it will speak to you as well…
“If we reach out and meet God here where God is, if we accept God’s will in life where our will does not prevail, if we are willing to learn from others, if we can see ourselves and accept ourselves for what we are and grow from that, if we can live simply, if we can respect others and reverence them, if we can be a trusting part of our world without having to strut around it controlling it, changing it, wrenching it to our own image and likeness, then we will have achieved “perfect love that casts our fear” (I John 4:18). There will be nothing left to fear—not God’s wrath, not the loss of human respect, not the absence of control, not the achievements of others greater than our own whose success we have had to smother with rejection or deride with scorn.
“Humility, the lost virtue of our era, is crying to heaven for rediscovery. The development of nations, the preservation of the globe, the achievement of the human community may well depend on it.”
From Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2010), 98-99.