16 August 2011

What Are the Instruments of Good Works?

1. In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the whole soul, the whole strength.
2. Then, one's neighbor as oneself.
3. Then not to murder.
4. Not to commit adultery.
5. Not to steal.
6. Not to covet.
7. Not to bear false witness.
8. To honor all (1 Peter 2:17).
9. And not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
10. To deny oneself in order to follow Christ.
11. To chastise the body.
12. Not to become attached to pleasures.
13. To love fasting.
14. To relieve the poor.
15. To clothe the naked.
16. To visit the sick.
17. To bury the dead.
18. To help in trouble.
19. To console the sorrowing.
20. To become a stranger to the world's ways.
21. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

22. Not to give way to anger. 
23. Not to nurse a grudge.
24. Not to entertain deceit in one's heart.
25. Not to give a false peace.
26. Not to forsake charity.
27. Not to swear, for fear of perjuring oneself.
28. To utter truth from heart and mouth.
29. Not to return evil for evil.
30. To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to oneself.
31. To love one's enemies.
32. Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
33. To bear persecution for justice's sake.
34. Not to be proud.
35. Not addicted to wine.
36. Not a great eater.
37. Not drowsy.
38. Not lazy.
39. Not a grumbler.
40. Not a detractor.
41. To put one's hope in God.
42. To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in oneself.
43. But to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to impute it to oneself.
 
44. To fear the Day of Judgment.
45. To be in dread of hell.
46. To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
47. To keep death daily before one's eyes.
48. To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
49. To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
50. When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ immediately.
51. And to manifest them to one's spiritual guardian.
52. To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
53. Not to love much talking.
54. Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
55. Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
56. To listen willingly to holy reading.
57. To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
58. Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
59. Not to fulfill the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
60. To obey in all things the commands of the Abbot or Abbess even though they (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
61. Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be holy, that one may be truly so called.

62. To fulfill God's commandments daily in one's deeds.
63. To love chastity.
64. To hate no one.
65. Not to be jealous, not to harbor envy.
66. Not to love contention.
67. To beware of haughtiness.
68. And to respect the seniors.
69. To love the juniors.
70. To pray for one's enemies in the love of Christ.
71. To make peace with one's adversary before the sun sets.
72. And never to despair of God's mercy.

These, then, are the tools of the spiritual craft. If we employ them unceasingly day and night, and return them on the Day of Judgment,
our compensation from the Lord
will be that wage He has promised:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
 

--Rule of St. Benedict, Ch. IV

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!
Oh thank you for this post--I needed it today, even if no one else did.
St. Benedict pray for us!
Mempoit

thetimman said...

You're welcome. I needed it, too.

Delena said...

I cut this out of our bulletin and posted it on my kitchen cupboards--love it.

p.s.---> did we both post the Ron Paul piece at the same time?! Scary!

Phil said...

thanks for posting! We attended Mass at Old St. Patricks Oratory this weekend and found this in the bulletin.

Anonymous said...

There are a few more not listed:
62. To fulfill God's commandments daily in one's deeds.
63. To love chastity.
64. To hate no one.
65. Not to be jealous, not to harbor envy.
66. Not to love contention.
67. To beware of haughtiness.
68. And to respect the seniors.
69. To love the juniors.
70. To pray for one's enemies in the love of Christ.
71. To make peace with one's adversary before the sun sets.
72. And never to despair of God's mercy.

These, then, are the tools of the spiritual craft. If we employ them unceasingly day and night, and return them on the Day of Judgment,
our compensation from the Lord
will be that wage He has promised:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).

thetimman said...

Thanks, I corrected the post.

Anonymous said...

This is the sort of thing that makes your blog relevant and worth my time. Please past it to your computer so the next time you rant about those 'social justice nut-jobs,' you read each and every one of these.

I'm still convinced that you're quite conflicted, trying to mesh the raw truth of our Catholic faith and Christ's message with some form of do-it-alone raw capitalism.

thetimman said...

Sure, but could you please find any post where I ranted about 'social justice nut-jobs' and link it here? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Timman?
You can't recall a single instance where you take potshots at "Social Justice?"
Type those two words into your search engine for your blog here, and I think you'll find yourself equating this with words such as "socialism," "communism," "left wing," and anything else you can throw at it.
Your spirituality is heavy on the side of personal piety, but seems weak on the social action side. That's not bad - all of us need to find some balance in our relationship with our loving God. But my recollection is that you take a pot shot at those involved in social justice, equating them with the 'wrong side' of your political and spiritual quest.

thetimman said...

Seriously. Because I don't rant about "nut-jobs", but I do often criticize what I take to be a false understanding and representation of Catholic "social justice". The Holy Father has condemned the false representation of social justice as being an empty political activism divorced from truth. And hence also divorced from true Charity-- of God and neighbor.

Of course real work to help the poor in their spiritual and temporal needs is a very good thing. Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, as the Church teaches. And there is a need for real social justice on a macro level.

My question to you was serious, because I don't want to slam anyone who tries their best to help the poor (even if they don't address the whole person or perhaps don't recognize the greater importance of imparting the faith than merely a ham sandwich); it is laudable, and God may reward them richly based on their good intent. I may fail in charity towards them, but I don't wish to. I would rather that we all work out our salvation with fear and trembling, as St. Paul says, living out the entire Catholic unity of loving God and neighbor.

Loving God and neighbor necessarily entails holding and telling the truth about God, about His Son, His Son's Church, the salvific necessity of being a member of the Church (however you might parse this-- I am not going into that theological rabbit hole at the moment), and showing compassion for those in need.

So, yes, you may see an emphasis on "personal piety" on this site, but I am a follower, as it were, of St. Francis de Sales, who emphasized that personal growth in holiness is primary, and also absolutely necessary so that this holiness flows out of one like living water to spread the gospel to our neighbor.

If I have given the false impression that I don't respect or value those that work with the poor, I apologize. And I don't hold myself up as a Catholic whose daily conduct should be emulated. Far from it.