I haven't written in my Dom Columba book yet because I wanted to get a sense of how much I would be likely to write. I look at the first section of the book and see now dozens of little post-it tags--each representing a passage I would otherwise mark. When I page through there are, perhaps, three or four passages I have not marked. My conclusion--this is a book that is fit for lectio in the same way as Imitation of Christ makes fine fodder for hours of prayer. So I think this would as well.

For example, this word for those of us prone to taking on tomorrow and next week:

from Union with God
Dom Columba Marmion

If circumstances happen to change, then and not before, we can consider how you would have to adapt your life to that new position you set before me. For the moment, live in the actual present, and not in a future which perhaps will never be an actuality for you.

This passage echoes St. Therese who said (I paraphrase), "All of our sorrows lie in the past and in tomorrow, but we live only in this moment."

And this piece of scary, but cogent advice:

[source as above]

Let yourself be led by God's hand without looking too much where He is leading you, provided that you remain quite submissive and in His Hands. One is a thousand times more united to God in the midst of a crowd where one is by obedience than hidden away in one's cell by self-love.

Once again the ancient dual, humility and obedience, make their appearance. These two things are so difficult for me because I tend to be spiritually tone-deaf, often assuming that what I want to do or what I have read about doing are what God actually wants me to do--and all the while secretly reveling in a kind of spiritual pride in what it is I am doing--pride not that I am announcing it to the world, but that I am "making my own way." Only the foolish believe that they can make their own ways in the spiritual world. The only way is God's way and so I end up tramping through the brush and getting scratched up by briars, rather than walking the cleared path that God has made for me. In my own mind I am a great explorer and investigator, but in reality, I am merely a disobedient child--subjecting myself to wear and tear and stress that will ultimately pull me away from God rather than toward him. While I could be sampling berries by the side of the path, I am instead tangling with the poison ivy, poison oak, and brambles of my own making and my own choosing. How is this so much different from Milton's Satan who said, "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven?"

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 20, 2006 8:19 AM.

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