Monday, March 8, 2010

Maxim Monday: Zeal: Humility and Generous Courage

In the manifestation of zeal characteristic of your very humble vocation, imitate the fervor of the most zealous and embrace in desire the salvation and perfection of a whole world in a spirit replete with a true humility and a generous courage. This will bring you to wish to do everything, to suffer everything, and to undertake everything for the advancement of the glory of God and the salvation of the dear neighbor. Maxims of the Little Institute #7

A friend of mine often says there are no coincidences in life…rather there are "God-incidences." I’ve been praying with this maxim during the past week and one of those God-incidences happened when I saw the first reading for this Sunday’s liturgy. It’s the story of Moses and the burning bush. Both Maxim 7 and this Sunday’s reading from Exodus seem to be about being consumed with zeal – a zeal that humbles us, brings us to our knees, and opens us to be more available to God’s will as we become deeply aware that the ground of our lives is holy ground.

Perhaps this is why I love the “flame” design in the front of our Motherhouse chapel. A few years ago, after our annual prayer in solidarity with the international Stand Up, Speak Out event this image of a borderless world that had been used as part of a slide presentation during the prayer stayed superimposed on the flame. One of our sisters pointed it out and I took this picture. As I reflect on Maxim 7, this image speaks volumes about embracing the whole world with zeal that is both humble and enflamed with generous courage.

I realize that these reflections barely scratch the surface of what could be said about Maxim 7. For more, see Love's Design by Marcia Allen, CSJ/Concordia.

What are your reflections on this Maxim?

1 comment:

  1. I am carried to something I had not noticed until I heard the readings proclaimed at St. Susanna's parish last Saturday. My attention riveted on Moses' seeing the angel in the form of the fire burning the bush without consuming it. Then my mind stood on alert when the second reading said the Israelites were baptized into Moses when passing through the water. The water did not quench the fire but swallowed it whole. There in water and in fire, on sea and mountain, I felt the power of God's call as I do in humble zeal in the company of Joseph's community. Wow!

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