Right Way / Wrong Way

Feast of St. Scholastica
1 Kgs 10:1-10; Psalm: 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40; Gospel: Mk 7:14-23

Right Way
In the first reading today we hear from the queen of Sheba as she extols the fruit of wisdom that she sees growing in Solomon’s kingdom. All of this fruit comes from a kingdom that is clearly going the right way - towards God. The Church gives this reading to us today to encourage us as we battle sin and deceit in our own lives.

Wrong Way
In the Gospel Christ points out the wrong way that many of us follow. We like to blame our actions on external things. Christ reminds us that we often choose to live the wrong-way which is why there is so much suffering in this world. Christ challenges us to grow in wisdom by examining our own lives, and asking ourselves the question – what is broken? Where do I need to change? What is it in my belief, my actions that gives strength to my sin? Where do I need to repent?


St. Scholastica and St. Benedict
Today is the feast of St. Scholastica who is the twin sister of St. Benedict. Scholastica and Benedict are credited with bringing the monastic life to the Western Church in the 5th century. Benedict learned monasticism from the Monks in the desert in Egypt and brought it West. He led a Monastery and his Sister Scholastica lived in a convent across the valley. Both lived simple lives centered in prayer and rounded out with work and community life.

Monastic Life = life of prayer
The goal of the Monastic life is to surrender ourselves to a simple life of work and prayer, in Latin “Ora et Labora”. Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit with some Benedictine nuns at Walberga Abbey near Laramie, Wyoming. We began our day with prayer at 4:50, and then throughout the day we would obey the Abbey bell calling us to pray together with and for the world. At the heart of Monastic life is introspection on the Gospel. In allowing the light of Christ to penetrate my heart and cast its brightness into the dark recesses of my soul, so that you and I can see the roots of the sin in our lives, and then, with the grace of God make amends and seek to be healed.

If we pursue prayer seriously then our sin comes to light
The reason for Prayer, Work and Community is that these three fundamentals of human existence provide us with the opportunity to encounter Christ in prayer, to reflect with Christ in our work, and to share Christ in our community. It is in these three settings – centered on Christ, that we come to understand more and more deeply the source of sin and grace in our lives. It is the constant relationship with Christ in prayer that allows us to be healed, and allows our life to become progressively more and more fruitful.

But Deacon – We’re not Nun’s (for the most part) or Monks either!
The reason why I bring this up is not that we all run off to the Abbey or the Monastery and become Monks and Nuns (unless God is calling us to that) – but that we take a moment and reflect on our own lives of prayer, work and community. Take this next moment and ask the Lord to show you how to better structure your life.

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