Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I learned from the saints this week&weekly Q&A

St. Norbert,June 6th

A couple of wonderful lessons in the Office of Reading this week.

Monday and Tuesday: St. Dorotheus the abbot talks about how much peace we lose trying to defend ourselves, justify our own  actions, blame those who criticize us, etc. He says things that almost remind me of GK Chesterton , who had a flare for paradox. In today's parlance, a flare for the counterintuitive. For example:

The man who finds fault with himself accepts all things cheerfully--misfortune, loss, disgrace, dishonor, and any other kind of adversity. he believes he is deserving of all these things and nothing can disturb him. No one could be more at peace than this man. 

Even if someone criticizes or injures you with not the least shred of provocation on your part, says the abbot, you should still take it calmly, and tell yourself that perhaps this is God's way of administering a little justice to you for some past time when you did annoy or injure others.  Reminds me of times I've had to punish my kids for some transgression, and when they complained that the punishment was too harsh, I'd tell them, "on the off chance that you are correct, then see it as just punishment for some of the other things you've done and gotten away with."

Wednesday: We learn from one of my favorites, Saint Gregory the Great, a perennial lesson about persuading others of the truth. It's not enough to be right and hit folks over the head with THE TRUTH.  Instead we have to teach with gentleness and humility. I think Gregory was very much the sort of Pope we have right now.
Thursday: the second reading for the feast of St. Norbert shows that even when a bishop is a saint, he can be met with hostility and protest when trying to reform dissident priests. In fact, Norbert was unsuccessful in reforming the clergy of his time. A saint's goal is to obey and do what God has given him to do, and not to worry about the results. I hope that the Pope and bishops who right now are dealing with dissident nuns will remember St. Norbert.

Okay. Q&A Time.
Anything bugging you about the breviary? Confused about what prayers to say for some of these saint's days ? Need info on rubrics and options when you pray the Liturgy of the Hours?   Ask away!