Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

Pope St Pius V (1504-1572)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 72 The Good Zeal of Monks
Mass: Acts 4:32-37; Resp Ps 93; Jn 3:7b-15

The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

The first line from today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles is a fitting introduction to what has been called the most beautiful chapter in the Rule of St Benedict, that is, Ch 72 "The Good Zeal of Monks ". One of the treasures of the chapter is that it is relevant for all people, whether they live inside a monastery or elsewhere. St Benedict's wisdom can be applied in the home, office, social setting, or school. In the words of Patrick Barry, OSB (1917-2016), Ch 72 "is about the fulfillment of our baptism, which unites us all 'who are in Christ Jesus.' It is about what our lives would be like-monastics, laity, clergy, bishops, priests, deacons, the poor, the rich, the strong, the weak, those who have power and station, and those who have none-if we followed Christ as we should. As a vision it is what Christianity is about.' (Saint Benedict's Rule, p. 36).


It is easy to recognize the bitter zeal of wickedness which creates a barrier to God's grace and opens the way to the evil of hell. But equally there is a good zeal which frees us from evil ways and brings us closer to God and eternal life. It is this latter zeal that all who follow the monastic way of life should strive to cultivate, spurred on by fervent love. By following this path they try to be the first to show respect to one another, supporting with greatest patience one another's weaknesses of body or behavior, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. No one in the monastery aims at personal advantage but is rather concerned for the good of others. Thus the pure love of one another as belonging to one family should be their ideal. As for God they should fear Him with deep reverence. They should love their abbot or abbess with sincere and unassuming affection. Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may He bring us all together to eternal life.
(From RB80 and Saint Benedict's Rule)

Let us ask the Lord to grant us the awareness that we cannot truly be Christians unless we walk with the Holy Spirit, unless we let the Holy Spirit be the protagonist of our life.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 30, 2019).

Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.

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