Presentation on theme: "Where you least expect it. COMMUNION. Single Life: a life of Communion We often think of marriage as an ideal Christian state of Communion, with the single."— Presentation transcript:
Single Life: a life of Communion We often think of marriage as an ideal Christian state of Communion, with the single life being communion-less, but the Tradition does not present things that way at all. Taking quotes from Water is Thicker than Blood:
Single Life: a life of Communion 7 Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God, * one of one kind and one of another. a 8 * b Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. 10 c To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord): * A wife should not separate from her husband 11 —and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband—and a husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7
Single Life: a life of Communion 7 Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God, * one of one kind and one of another. a 8 * b Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. 10 c To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord): * A wife should not separate from her husband 11 —and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband—and a husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7 Why do you think Paul is saying this? How could single life possibly lead to a deeper communion with God? How can single life be an expression of original solitude and original unity?
Single Life: a life of Communion St. Augustine on Virginity: “Virginity offers a taste of life in the kingdom of Heaven, even while on this earth, and this virginity is not only a physical reality, but a spiritual one as well.”
Single Life: a life of Communion Unity with Christ: Unity with the Church:
Single Life: a life of Communion The Body of Christ is the reference point for Communion in every state of life: If we see life through that lens, then every baptized person (single or married) must strive for spiritual virginity, and every baptized person (single or married) must strive for spiritual marriage.
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion Therese spent the last nine years of her life at the Lisieux Carmel. Her fellow Sisters recognized her as a good nun, nothing more. She was conscientious and capable. Sister Therese worked in the sacristy, cleaned the dining room, painted pictures, composed short pious plays for the Sisters, wrote poems, and lived the intense community prayer life of the cloister. Superiors appointed her to instruct the novices of the community. Externally, there was nothing remarkable about this Carmelite nun. Therese was aware of her littleness. "It is impossible for me to grow up, so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short and totally new." Therese went on to describe the elevator in the home of a rich person. And she continued: "I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched then in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: 'Whoever is a little one let him come to me.' The elevator which must raise me to heaven is your arms, O Jesus, and for this I have no need to grow up, but rather I have to remain little and become this more and more," And so she abandoned herself to Jesus and her life became a continual acceptance of the will of the Lord.
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Lord, it seems, did not demand great things of her. But Therese felt incapable of the tiniest charity, the smallest expression of concern and patience and understanding. So she surrendered her life to Christ with the hope that he would act through her. She again mirrored perfectly the words of St. Paul, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me." "All things" consisted of almost everything she was called upon to do in the daily grind of life. Again, in the daily grind of convent life, she was moved by her youthful idealism to help Sister St. Pierre, a crotchety, older nun who refused to let old age keep her from convent activities. Therese tried to help her along the corridors. "You move too fast," the old nun complained. Therese slowed down. "Well, come on," Sister urged. "I don't feel your hand. You have let go of me and I am going to fall." And as a final judgment, old Sister St. Pierre declared: "I was right when I said you were too young to help me." Therese took it all and managed to smile. This was her "little way." Another nun made strange, clacking noises in chapel. Therese did not say, but the good lady was probably either toying with her rosary or was afflicted by ill-fitting dentures. The clacking sound really got to Therese. It ground into her brain. Terrible-tempered Therese was pouring sweat in frustration. She tried to shut her ears, but was unsuccessful. Then, as an example of her 'little ways', she made a concert out of the clacking and offered it as a prayer to Jesus.
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Prologue: “L I S T E N carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience. To you, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever you may be, who are renouncing your own will to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King, and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 5: “The first degree of humility is obedience without delay. This is the virtue of those who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ... But this very obedience will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all only if what is commanded is done without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection. For the obedience given to Superiors is given to God, since He Himself has said, "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16). And the disciples should offer their obedience with a good will, for "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7). For if the disciple obeys with an ill will and murmurs, not necessarily with his lips but simply in his heart, then even though he fulfill the command yet his work will not be acceptable to God, who sees that his heart is murmuring. And, far from gaining a reward for such work as this, he will incur the punishment due to murmurers, unless he amend and make satisfaction.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 27: “Let the Abbot be most solicitous in his concern for delinquent brethren, for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a physician" (Matt 9:12) And therefore he ought to use every means that a wise physician would use. Let him send senpectae, that is, brethren of mature years and wisdom, who may as it were secretly console the wavering brother and induce him to make humble satisfaction; comforting him that he may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7), but that, as the Apostle says, charity may be strengthened in him (2 Cor. 2:8). And let everyone pray for him.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 35: “Let the brethren serve one another, and let no one be excused from the kitchen service except by reason of sickness or occupation in some important work. For this service brings increase of reward and of charity. But let helpers be provided for the weak ones, that they may not be distressed by this work; and indeed let everyone have help, as required by the size of the community or the circumstances of the locality. If the community is a large one, the cellarer shall be excused from the kitchen service; and so also those whose occupations are of greater utility, as we said above. Let the rest serve one another in charity.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 36: “Before all things and above all things, care must be taken of the sick, so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person; for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36), and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me" (Matt. 25:40). But let the sick on their part consider that they are being served for the honor of God, and let them not annoy their brothers who are serving them by their unnecessary demands. Yet they should be patiently borne with, because from such as these is gained a more abundant reward. Therefore the Abbot shall take the greatest care that they suffer no neglect.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 48: “But certainly one or two of the seniors should be deputed to go about the monastery at the hours when the brothers are occupied in reading and see that there be no lazy brother who spends his time in idleness or gossip and does not apply himself to the reading, so that he is not only unprofitable to himself but also distracts others. If such a one be found (which God forbid), let him be corrected once and a second time; if he does not amend, let him undergo the punishment of the Rule in such a way that the rest may take warning.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 53: “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say, "I came as a guest, and you received Me" (Matt. 25:35). And to all let due honor be shown, especially to the domestics of the faith and to pilgrims. As soon as a guest is announced, therefore, let the Superior or the brethren meet him with all charitable service. And first of all let them pray together, and then exchange the kiss of peace. For the kiss of peace should not be offered until after the prayers have been said, on account of the devil's deceptions. In the salutation of all guests, whether arriving or departing, let all humility be shown. Let the head be bowed or the whole body prostrated on the ground in adoration of Christ, who indeed is received in their persons.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Benedict – Chapter 71: “Not only is the blessing of obedience to be shown by all to the Abbot, but the brethren are also to obey one another, knowing that by this road of obedience they are going to God. Giving priority, therefore, to the commands of the Abbot and of the Superior appointed by him (to which we allow no private orders to be preferred), for the rest let all the juniors obey their seniors with all charity and solicitude. But if anyone is found contentious, let him be corrected.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Francis
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Francis – Chapter IV: “1. In the name of the Lord! 2. All the brothers who have been established as ministers and servants of the other brothers should assign their brothers to the provinces and to the places where they are to be, and they should visit them frequently and spiritually admonish and encourage them. 3. And all my other blessed brothers should diligently obey them in those matters which concern the well-being of their soul and [which] are not contrary to our life. 4. And among themselves let them behave according to what the Lord says: Whatever you wish that men should do to you, do that to them (Mt 7:12); 5. and, That which you do not wish to be done to you, do not do to another (Tb 4:16). 6. And let the ministers and servants remember what the Lord says: I have not come to be served, but to serve (Mt 20:28); and because the care 0f the souls of the brothers has been entrusted to them, if anyone of them should be lost because of their fault or bad example, [these ministers and servants] will have to render an account before the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of judgment (cf. Mt 12:36).”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Francis – Chapter V: “1. Therefore, guard your soul and those of your brothers, since it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31). 2. But should any of the ministers command any of the brothers to do something contrary to our life or against his conscience, he is not bound to obey him, since that is not obedience in which a fault or sin is committed. 3. Nonetheless, all the brothers, who are subject to the ministers and servants, should reasonably and diligently consider the actions of the ministers and servants. 4. And if they should see that any of them is living according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit—[as demanded] for the integrity of our life—if he does not amend his way, after a third admonition they should inform the minister and servant of the whole fraternity at the Chapter of Pentecost without any interference or opposition. 5. If, moreover, among the brothers anywhere there should be some brother who wishes to live according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, the brothers with whom he is [living] should admonish, instruct, and correct him humbly and diligently. 6. But if, after the third admonition, he should refuse to change his ways, as soon as they can they should send him or report him to their minister and servant, and the minister and servant should deal with him as he considers best before God. 7. And let all the brothers, both the ministers and servants as well as the others, take care not to be disturbed or angered at the sin or the evil of another, because the devil wishes to destroy many through the fault of one; 8. but they should spiritually help [the brother] who has sinned as best they can, because it is not the healthy who are in need of the physician, but those who are sick (cf. Mt 9:12; Mk 2:17).”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Francis – Chapter V: “9. Similarly, all the brothers in this regard should not hold power 0r dominion, least of all among themselves. 10. For, as the Lord says in the Gospel: The rulers of the peoples have power over them, and leaders rule over them (Mt 20:25); it shall not be like this among the brothers (cf. Mt 20:26a). 11. And whoever among them wishes to become greater should be their minister (cf. Mt 20:26b) and servant. 12. And whoever is the greater among them should become like the lesser (cf. Lk 22-la 13. Nor should any brother do evil or say something evil to other; 14. on the contrary, through the charity of the Spirit, they should voluntarily serve and obey one another (cf. Gal 5:13). 15. And this is the true and holy obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ. 16. And all the brothers, as often as they have turned away from the commands 0 the Lord and wandered outside obedience, as the prophet says (Ps 118:21), should know that they are cursed outside obedience as long as they knowingly persist in such sin. 17. And when they have persevered in the commands of the Lord, which they have promised through the holy Gospel and their life, they should know that they are standing firm in true obedience and that they are blessed by the Lord.”
Consecrated Life: a life of Communion The Rule of St. Francis – Chapter XI: “1. And all the brothers should beware that they do not slander or engage in disputes (cf. 2 Tim 2:14); 2. rather, they should strive to keep silence whenever God gives them [this] grace. 3. Nor should they quarrel among themselves or with others, but they should strive to respond humbly, saying: I am a useless servant (cf. Lk 17:10). 4. And they should not become angry, since everyone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; and he who has said to his brother "fool” shall be liable to the Council; whoever has said "idiot” shall be liable to the fires of hell (Mt 5:22). 5. And they should love one another, as the Lord says: This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you (Jn 15:12). 6. And let them express the love which they have for one another by their deeds (cf. Jas 2:18), as the Apostle says: Let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth (1 Jn 3:18). 7. And they should slander no one (cf. Tit 3:2). 8. Let them not murmur nor detract from others, for it is written: Gossips and detractors are detestable to God (Rm 1:29, 30). 9. And let them be modest, by showing meekness toward everyone (cf. Tit 3:2). 10. Let them not judge or condemn. 11. And as the Lord says, they should not take notice of the little defects of others (cf. Mt 7:3; Lk 6:41). 12. Rather they should reflect much more on their own [sins] in the bitterness of their soul (Is 38:15). 13. And let them strive to enter through the narrow gate (Lk 13:24), for the Lord says: Narrow is the gate and hard the road that leads to life; and there are few who find it (Mt 7:14).”