January 31, 2007

Details, Devil in the

The challenges of the common religious life come not in grand things but in little ones. I hate to admit it, but there's a good and holy reason for things to be this way.

For example, there's an unspoken and yet bitter dispute going in my house over the correct function of the dish rack next to the kitchen sink. Is it for clean dishes that are waiting to be dry, either by hand or air, or is it a place for dirty dishes to wait on their way to the dishwasher? My position is the former, but that's beside the point.

That the struggles of common life should be of this nature is an expression of God's mercy. If the penances and challenges of the religious life were grand or glamorous or even interesting, there would be too much temptation to vainglory. As it is, nobody will ever write in the life of a saint that he courageously endured the dirty dishes of his confreres, and yet, (again I hate to admit it) this is where ordinary calls to patience and humility arise.


Rashfriar said...

Peace, brother! Yes, of dishracks saints can be made. And I do believe such a thing is found at least in St. Therese's autobiography, where she shares her struggles with the small annoyances of community life. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely rashfriar.

I believe St. Zita was a scullery maid (dishwasher).

It is only because of her intercession (and the grace of God) that we even have a dishwasher.