Saturday, June 7, 2008

Outgrowing Our Myopic Vision

A reflection by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

I was thinking this morning that we're all born with myopia. We have to grow out of that and it takes time to mature. One has to be of age, an adult to enter into a legal marriage and so also relgious vows. Why is this? What is the difference between a teenager and an adult? Experience? Maturity? In a child, a teenager, life revolves around them, they are so to speak the center of their universe. Their lives are ruled by their needs. We have all been there, and have been challenged to grow through that particular stage in our lives to adulthood. This presupposes that one will be able to grow beyond oneself and see and hear with the heart, with compassion, the needs of another and see them possibly as greater than their own needs.

To put another's needs before our own. St. Benedict tells us to anticipate the needs of another. To do what is better for your brother or sister. Thus a marriage will grow if both parties seek the good of the other. Grace is needed in the sacrament of marriage, grace that strengthens the bonds of love and charity. When a marriage becomes lopsided and only the needs of one are met, divorce is not far off. How often we hear the reason for a divorce is "irreconcilable differences". I'm not willing to reconcile. It's my way or the highway.

I once saw in a magazine a poster that read: "Get divorced every year. You only live once!" Isn't that horrible? What a thing to promote! Divorce is as commonplace as eating out. The life St. Benedict teaches us is a life of service. We are not seeking to be satisfied in this life for we have a certainty of eternity. Let us not murmur or complain. It simply implies that our needs have not been met. Let us first ask if the needs of others have been met.

There is a need to learn to serve and to be served. This is indeed necessary in any situation where there is more than one person involved. Therefore, "Wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in their midst," (Mt. 18:20) serving and being served.

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