Sunday, 16 December 2012

Life and wisdom of St Benedict 26/ Not to forsake charity

The twenty-sixth of the tools of good work in Chapter Four of St Benedict's Rule is not to forsake charity.

It is part of a group of wisdom sayings that relate to our behaviour when under attack: being charitable is relatively easy when people are behaving well towards you, but giving way to anger, nursing a grudge or dissembling becomes a more serious temptation when we are under pressure.

In these circumstances, St Benedict instructs that the first stage of our response must be to carefully cultivate and maintain our interior peace and sense of charity towards those who upset, attack or even persecute us.

That's not easy.   Indeed, there have been a few prominent incidents where those who should be an example to us have had very bad public fails in this regard .

So how to achieve that inner charity?  We must ask for the necessary grace in prayer.

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