" God Save us from gloomy saints" (St. Teresa of Avila)
The rule of St. Benedict is filled with beauty and powerful teachings that can enrich the lives of the faithful. Even those living outside of a monastic setting can learn and establish a routine rightly ordered in serving God alone. Though many of us are called by God to live within the 'world' we must contemplate and reflect upon what this vocation and state of life demands of us.
Too often it can be suggested that many close themselves off to aspiring toward holiness. It is as if living for God alone, as St. Benedict lived and encourages others to live, solely belongs to those within monastic communities and religious life. This way of thinking detaches us from living authentic Christian lives and can lead us to live within the world consumed with things, rather than living solely for God to Whom all things belong.
It is to God alone that we should offer all the glory and praise. It is for Him alone that we should live so that we can live united with others in the way that He wills. Living for God alone is a means of drawing out of ourselves and our often selfish desires so that we can become most charitable and more Christ like to those that we encounter.To lose oneself to God is to find oneself most complete and most fully alive.
In reading about the lives of our beloved saints and those most hidden in Christ, one can see how God revealed Himself abundantly in accordance to their surrender. It was through their giving of self to the invisible reality of God that the Divine became most visible.
Often it is poorly perceived that one who gives themselves to God alone becomes unrelatable, selfish, judgemental of others, and detached from 'reality'. This has become a reason for much Christian critique in today's society. These perceptions are a reflection and fruit of disordered devotion to God. If one strives to live for God alone and does this with great faith and love of God then the fruits of this should be the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We should see,experience, and reflect 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control' (Galatians 5:22) These fruits are belonging to those desiring to live for God alone.
Through an honest desire to please God alone we will find ourselves living with others in a way that welcomes the peace of our Lord and the fruits of His Spirit. In this manner the way of life that we attempt to lead becomes an invitation to others and not one of opposition. Let us be true to the call that we have received from our Lord in faith. Let us live always in shadow of the Cross, striving to be hidden in God so that His greatness and joy may shine through us to others. (C.C.)