Grumbling

“You git what you git, and you don’t throw a fit”…words chanted by a six year old after receiving his food at a restaurant. I overheard this child while returning from the monastery a few days ago, reminding me of my daily readings. As an oblate, I read portions of The Rule of St. Benedict each day. This guide, primarily written for monks and rooted in scripture, has proven to be relevant to people of all classes of society for fifteen hundred years. The Rule contains principles for working together and living together, and a sense of humor is speckled throughout. When Benedict says, “There must be no word or sign of grumbling,” it reminds me of my own family life growing up, and the occasional, sometimes frequent, arguing with my siblings. How hard it would be not to grumble!

There is an ancient monastic tale that speaks of living the Benedictine Rule. Once upon a time, the Elder said to the businessperson: “As the fish perishes on dry land, so you perish when you get entangled in the world. The fish must return to the water and you must return to the Spirit.” And the businessperson was aghast. “Are you saying that I must give up my business and go into the monastery?” the person asked. And the Elder said, “Definitely not. I am telling you to hold on to your business and go into your heart.”

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses. ~ Alphonse Karr

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