Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Lifestyle Worthy of the Gospel, Part III

Yet all these blessings lose their savor if they are not integrated within the search for God and the commitment to gospel values, as embodied in our particular way of life.  Monasticism is a package:  Some of its features are desirable, but they are inseparable from necessary renunciations.  These are not impositions that we rightfully resent, but part of what we have freely chosen.  Jesus prefaced his demand for absolute poverty with the conditional phrase, "If you wish to be perfect" (Mt. 19:21).  The choice is ours:  After fully manifesting the hard and difficult passages to be encountered on the journey towards God, Benedict solemnly reminds the aspirant:  "This is the rule under which you wish to serve; if you can observe it, enter; but if not, freely leave" (58:10).  Selective observance is unacceptable.  We are expected to commit ourselves to the whole.

from Strangers to the City
by Michael Casey

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