By the Guidance of the Gospel

January 4, 2010

From the Rule of Saint Benedict:

Having our loins girded, therefore, 
with faith and the performance of good works (Eph. 6:14),
let us walk in His paths by the guidance of the Gospel, 
that we may deserve to see Him who has called us to His kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12).

For if we wish to dwell in the tent of that kingdom, 
we must run to it by good deeds or we shall never reach it.

But let us ask the Lord, with the Prophet, 
“Lord, who shall dwell in Your tent, 
or who shall rest upon Your holy mountain” (Ps. 14[15]:1)?

After this question, let us listen to the Lord 
as He answers and shows us the way to that tent, saying, 
“The one Who walks without stain and practices justice; 
who speaks truth from his heart;  who has not used his tongue for deceit; 
who has done no evil to his neighbor;  who has given no place to slander against his neighbor.”

This is the one who,  under any temptation from the malicious devil, 
has brought him to naught (Ps. 14[15]:4) 
by casting him and his temptation from the sight of his heart; 
and who has laid hold of his thoughts while they were still young 
and dashed them against Christ (Ps. 14[15]:4; 136[137]:9).

It is they who, fearing the Lord (Ps. 14[15]:4),
do not pride themselves on their good observance; 
but, convinced that the good which is in them 
cannot come from themselves and must be from the Lord, 
glorify the Lord’s work in them (Ps. 14[15]:4),  using the words of the Prophet,
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give the glory” (Ps. 113:9[Ps. 115:1]. 
Thus also the Apostle Paul attributed nothing of the success of his preaching to himself, 
but said,  “by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). 
And again he says, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17).


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