From today’s reading of the Prologue of the Holy Rule, the following was what most caught my attention:
And the days of this life are lengthened and a truce granted us for this very reason, that we may amend our evil ways.
As of late thoughts of this sort have been on my mind. Perhaps because I can see the passing of the years in my children, or the fact that this current year seems to be speeding by so quickly, or because it marks a decade since my return to the Mystical Bride of Christ, but the thought of running sand has been looming in the background of my thoughts and prayers.
Man’s days are as grass, as the flower of the field so shall he flourish. For the spirit shall pass in him, and he shall not be: and he shall know his place no more.
How many years were lived in sin, oblivious to it all, squandering the great gift that had been given at my baptism? How many years passed with vices growing unchecked? Have I reached the halfway point of my years? Is there still time?
While one may find a bit of solace in the idea that perhaps one is halfway through this mortal life and that there is still the same amount of years left to work out one’s salvation, to progress in the spiritual life, that might invite a spirit of sloth. There is no guarantee that it will not end tomorrow, or even today…
Just a few days ago the Prologue mentions the immediacy of the necessity of conversion: “Today if you hear His voice…”, “Run while you have the light of life…” Everyday one is called to convert because everyday one falls. Every day one begins anew. Sanctity is not bought cheaply.
And yet it is not just for myself, for my own salvation that I am worried, but for that of those whom have been entrusted to me as well: my wife and my children. The moment we became a family our salvation became intricately tied to one another: first as husband and wife, then as parents and children.
Is the preoccupation with “spiritual progress” a symptom of worldly thinking where everything needs to be gauged, because one needs to feel some accomplishment, some self-fulfillment? Or is it based on a Pelagian approach, where everything depends on me?
For those who feel like useless servants that cannot even put to use that single talent the Lord has entrusted to them, there is always the last tool of good works enumerated in the Holy Rule: Never to despair of the mercy of God.