May 23, 2007


On a practical level, one of the great things about being a religious is having people who are there for you. There's always a generous brother to help you move. You can always get a ride to the airport.

Yesterday I had to take a subway ride, and I had nothing to read because I had already packed up all my books. When I got home, I found that one of the brothers had sent me the Holy Father's new book, Jesus of Nazareth. So now I have something to read as I make my transition to a new assignment.

On a deeper level, being brother and having brothers allows us to be vehicles of Providence for each other. When brothers help me move or serve my needs, it gives me a chance to be grateful for the Spirit Who inspired them. When I am quiet enough to let go of myself and seek the chances to be Providence for my brother, I find an opportunity to let go of the ultimately boring "tyranny of the self."

To see through the mundane and ordinary events of life to the order of grace is the fruit of prayer. When I was younger I looked for the benefits of prayer in the existential moments of prayer itself, as if I was supposed to have grand and mystical experiences. I now see a kind of spiritual greed or spiritual materialism in that kind of attitude. The fruit of prayer is found in the rest of life, in the times of apparent non-prayer.

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