Daily Meditation - Saturday 6September 2008 - ZEAL FOR RULES AND OBSERVANCES CAN BLIND


#1

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[FONT=Arial]Today - First Saturday of September 2008[/FONT]

First Saturday
Devotions
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Mass Readings & Meditation
Readings

What does the commandment “keep holy the Sabbath” require of us?
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** Or better yet, what is the primary intention behind this command?[/LEFT]
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The religious leaders confronted Jesus on this issue.
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The “Sabbath rest” was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of his work, both in creation and redemption.[/LEFT]
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It was a day set apart for the praise of God,
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his work of creation,[/LEFT]
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and his saving actions on our behalf.
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* It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. Jesus’ disciples are scolded by the scribes and Pharisees, not for plucking and eating corn from the fields, but for **READ ON HERE
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#2

Hi Barb,

Thanks again for another excellent meditation. I came across some words yesterday in Osuna’s Third Spiritual Alphabet (he was St. Teresa of Avila’s mentor) that are a fitting conclusion:

“Woe to those who walk righteously, for the pestilence of zeal stalks them.”


#3

Thank you for the input, Carole.:thumbsup:

Rules and regulations etc. are ok I think - they have a rightful place…but when observance of same takes over Charity and Mercy, Love, and these are absent…when zeal for rules and regulations at any cost is paramount - then zeal becomes a spiritual pestilence indeed and indeed a pestilence in the life of a Catholic for example and a distinct barrier to evangelization and witnessing to The Gospel.
Three things come to mind. The first is “walking Rules” as they were called in conventual life. In other words, those so strict about observances to the letter, that it was said that if the written Rule vanished completely, it could be re written by observing these “walking Rules”…but they were painful to live with and quite cold hearted creatures. Yet shining examples of the Rule in operation, which rather makes one pause and ponder.

The second matter that comes to mind is the mass exodus out of religious life after Vatican2, I read that those who stayed and worked through it all were those who found ways round all the rules and regulations. Many of those who left had made the Rule and the incidentals of religious life an end purpose in themselves…hence when all this was put into question, they felt their vocation shaking to its foundations and so it should have, I think, since the foundation of their vocation was incidental and shifting sands and either from the first…or had come to be so.

The other point arises from that previous point…and is that rules and regulations are never ever ends in themselves rather they guidelines or point to a higher purpose. The purpose of rules and regulations in the life of a Catholic for example and indeed any follower of Christ and His Gospel is to grow in love of God and of neighbour.
Many however do treat rules and regulations as ends in themselves and are either totally unaware of, unable to sight and appreciate, or disregarding of the higher purpose of same.
When I come across a rule or regulation in secular or religious living, I ask myself “Why does this rule or regulation exist? What is its purpose?” In this way I can identify or begin a search to identify the higher purpose involved.

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#4

Many however do treat rules and regulations as ends in themselves and are either totally unaware of, unable to sight and appreciate, or disregarding of the higher purpose of same.
When I come across a rule or regulation in secular or religious living, I ask myself “Why does this rule or regulation exist? What is its purpose?” In this way I can identify or begin a search to identify the higher purpose involved.

Then you would not be an advocate of “'blind obedience” as lived in religious life? Maybe we seculars are in a free position to ask ourselves these questions and make appropriate choices based on that inquiry. As many of us have read the lives of the saints who practiced this virtue to a heroic degree, it could cause an error in one’s judgment.

The only exception I would think is in following the directions of our spiritual director. I really believe if they have been chosen through much prayer and God’s confirmation, that He speaks to us through them.

God’s peace to you, Barb.


#5

Hi Carole…I’m all for obedience as an important virtue and in a special way in religious life. I am not an advocate of “blind obedience” as a fixed rule across the board in all circumstances while it may apply to some or even most circumstances in religious life. Certainly I am no advocate of outright disobedience. I don’t think that insighting the purpose in a rule or regulation undermines obedience and certainly in religious life one is called by God to be obedient to one’s superior and the Rule. Insighting the higher purpose of a rule does not thereby mean I am necessarily given the option of choosing either the rule or the higher purpose. And obedience could be the higher purpose and not only in religious life. Obedience is a most important virtue.

   It is not a personal comment indirectly, Carole:thumbsup:  - but the pharisees tended to be blindly obedient in that they rigorously followed all the rules come what may.  I am reading the Book of Jeremiah at the moment and God is grieving and angry because His people "are circumcised but do not keep my covenant" - in other words, they are keeping the rules but sacrificing and ignoring and deliberately the purpose of The Law.   The whole anecdote of the ears of corn in The Gospel and subject of this thread is about not keeping The Law to the ridiculous or an obedience that blinds to common sense and indeed higher purposes..............Blessings and my regards...........Barb:)

#6

Hi Barb, :hug1: Long time no see. And excellent point.


#7

Hi TC…Obviously we have met along the way although I must confess and to my overwhelming embarrassment that I cannot recall same. I have referred my appalling memory to my doctor who assures me that it is merely age (63yrs) and my hope is that he is correct…but it does continue to cause me much embarrassment and often. Please do forgive me!:o I’m a student, and too often for comfort, my tutors look upon me in absolute disbelief…in “memory” matters.

I am happy that you can see my point and as worthwhile, as my own conclusion was that I had not really explained things well at all and another common failing of mine …i.e…I know what I mean, I just can’t put it into words - and this led Carole to misunderstand. I really do think that obedience is a very very important virtue. My director tends to view my bad memory as akin to “avoidance”…but it is not, it really is, in all simplicity, a dreadful memory seemingly growing even worse daily.

Pope Benedict’s

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccscrlife/documents/rc_con_ccscrlife_doc_20080511_autorita-obbedienza_en.html

CONGREGATION FOR INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED
LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE

THE SERVICE OF AUTHORITY
AND OBEDIENCE

…is well worth the careful reading. He does state:

[FONT=Arial]However, other consecrated persons, in relation to their type of life, can also cull useful information from it. This document hopes to offer help and encouragement to all those, called to witness to the primacy of God through free obedience to his will, to live their yes to the Lord in joy.

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…and I do think that it has something to say to all of us about certainly the vow of obedience and the why of it and also obedience in life and living though not consecrated persons, if not taken to the ridiculous or lacking in common sense, although after reading the document, my own conclusion was that Pope Benedict had that type of response more than well covered.

I am a consistent and endless fan of St. Paul who does state “all authority comes from God” and I take that personally to heart though not to the extent of what I would term: blind obedience …

Paul to Romans, Chapter 13

1

Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. 2 Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.
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#8

Oh no, lol, there is nothing to forgive Barb. I was using my old alias, as I am still. It’s me, FindTruth7, I’m “The Catholic” :slight_smile: Your memory is fine. I should of told you earlier.

Since I’ve been feeling closer to God I have come back using my old and original name. Remember? I told you I used to be known as someone else when I sent you those poems. I’m sure my profile isn’t so lonely anymore :slight_smile: as you said my FT7 one was:rolleyes:

I have mostly been in the apologetics section lately. So when you see posts by FT7 and The Catholic, they’re one in the same.

Anyhow, good to see you my sister in Christ.


#9

Oh wow! :wave: …good to catch up with you again FT7 on the rounds of the Boards! Thank you very much for clarifying things for me as this memory of mine is a cause of concern…but certainly I do recall you and with much joy!:hug3: You certainly went through a dreadful time there for a while and I really felt for you in it all. Is all the unpacking done and are you settling in ok?..altho perhaps this should all be via PM. But I am just so glad to see you again and under such very happy terms.

Since I’ve been feeling closer to God I have come back using my old and original name.

Wonderful news…great news…joyous news! Deo Gratius Alleluia Amen! You have made my day, my friend!

Blessings and with my regards…your sister in Christ … my heart is literally dancing!..Barb:)


#10

Lol, I can see I made you happy :slight_smile: I’m glad. You really did seemed surprised. Now that I’m on my laptop I’m back on my other name FT7 :smiley:

Yes, I feel closer to God lately, and want to see a priest to confess many things. I’m still dwelling in darkness, but at least some of it is lifting.

:frowning: I just drank the last bottle of my Lancaster brew that I bough tin Pennsylvania, an Amish 4 grain pale ale. Now I REALLY miss the Amish and Lancaster. :slight_smile:


#11

I am quite sure that I will not fail to connect TC with FT7 or the other way round! Some things I sorta know are going to stick in ye olde memory!:thumbsup:

I’ll be keeping you in heartfelt prayer. Confession can be the conveyor of Peace without equal … and it is quite possible to dwell in the darkness in Peace and in Faith and trust…at first rather painful because there is still the contrast in memory of consolation. This fades and the pain with it…or indeed you may be flooded with great consolation. The Lord provides. You really were at a crossroads - and very happily have taken the direction that is not the dead end road, but the choice was yours and Grace has prevailed.

I wondered why the Amish thead did die out … perhaps someone will bring it to life again - it was very interesting. I can really understand you missing the Amish - they present quite the contrast to modern life as we know it. Quite the contrast! Since I gave up smoking (a little over 22months ago now) I have lost my taste for alchohol completely although I was never really a drinker…but I used to enjoy at night a glass of dry claret and a smoke and that I miss.


#12

I know what I mean, I just can’t put it into words - and this led Carole to misunderstand. I really do think that obedience is a very very important virtue.

Oh no, Barb, you did a fine job explaining. I am the one who worded poorly, because I was attempting to confirm your comment, but it looked as if I disagreed. :o

“Then you would not be an advocate of “'blind obedience” as lived in religious life?” I should have said, neither am I. Then I added that [fortunately] we seculars are free to ask ourselves your questions [Why does this rule or regulation exist? What is its purpose?] and make appropriate choices based on that inquiry.

I think I need to get off decaf and try the good stuff! Think it would help? :smiley:

Affectionately,
Carole


#13

…:rotfl: … I thought it quite unusual that we were not on the same wavelength! Yeah, at around 3pm I switch over to decaf and hate the stuff - self denial and mortification can come in dreadful garments indeed:D …but if I don’t switch to the lousy stuff I am awake all night. Tonight here too I had an emergency here…my puppy came inside badly limping and it cost me $130 (being the weekend) just to walk into the vet’s office - so my comprehension was minimal as my bank account dropped even lower and staring Christmas in the face almost…not that it ever gets much above minimal at all, both bank account and comprehension:D Nothing seems to be badly wrong with my puppy incidentally - a shot of cortizone seems to have done the trick. Glad, Carole, that we are still on that same wavelength. T’was not you at fault, it was truly my comprehension as a re-read of your Post indicated. But then having established we are indeed still on the same wavelength…I wont get off it by insisting that my opinion must prevail, whatever my opinion was!:blush: Can we agree on a “whatever”!:smiley:
Oh for the good stuff and coffee with a boot…roll on a.m. and coffee with that boot!

Affectionately back, Carole…Barb:)


#14

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