Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fourth Day of Retreat

Using the Tools - Part II

The first tools dealt with duties toward those around us; the second half deal with duties toward the self.  One might wonder why this is so, but then again the Greatest Commandment was to "love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all you mind, all your soul and all your strength;" and Christ told us the second is like it, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  With that admonition from Christ in mind, it only makes sense that the second half of St. Benedict's tools of good works deal with the self.

And this part of the list does not seem like dos and don'ts, but rather challenges on how to live an authentic Christian life.  Giving over selfwill and allowing God to be God and admitting and claiming him as our King.  St. Teresa of Avila whenever she referred to God would call him her Majesty. 

While that sounds crazy, unheard of, stupid perhaps to our democratic sensitivities, until we claim Jesus as our Lord and King, our Master, we cannot fully surrender to Him working in our lives.  And that is what the second part of the tools is about.  And there's even a line, Verse 74 to be exact, to console us when we fall and need to pick ourselves up:  never lose hope in God's mercy

Lord, you know my heart.
You know my good intentions,
and You also know my sinful folly.
Fill my heart with so great a love for You,
that the narrow and rugged path that I am on,
widens in the delight of that love.
Help me to yearn for You
with all my heart,
all my soul,
all my mind, and
all my strength.
And Lord,
help me to love myself,
with the same love
with which You love me.

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