Our Lady and Sheen

Conversion and leadership

Strangers to the City, by Michael Casey, deals a lot with the growth of monks from the time of their conversion to the time they learn to cope with the monastery.

After our conversions, whether they were from pagan, Christian, or lukewarm roots, “there may have been elements of guilt and shame about our past, but the primary feeling was one of joy and exhilaration.”  Isn’t this a great realization for all of us?  Don’t we have to reconcile our lives with our new lives, going from hot to cold for the Lord?  We’re definitely not perfect.  As the hospital is full of the sick, the Church is full of the sinners.

Also, sometimes people think that leadership is great.  “Man, wouldn’t he make a great bishop,” or, more relevant to the book, “What a holy monk, he’d be a great abbot.”  Part of Brother Michael’s analysis of the monastic life saying, “Perhaps with a rising panic we became aware that in a monastery we would never be in control – especially if we happened to become a superior.  Underlying the reasonable and ordered facade was a frothy chaos that seemed ever on the point of overwhelming the community, but never did.”

Even in our lives outside the monastery, we as Christians must realize that we are not in control, other than free will to choose how to respond.  We must seek to purge the worst in us to make that response easier, for “Even the most sincerely pious searchers after God harbor within themselves much hazardous material that, if disregarded, may eventually poison their best efforts,” (Location 278, Kindle).

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April 13, 2012 - Posted by | Book Review

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