The man on the street stopped me today and told me that the anticiapted ZZ Top concert the Sunday night before labor day here in Aggieland is not going to happen. Sad. However, that does free up the day to head to Lake Bryan for the Ziegenbock Festival. For those wanting to go, the best band plays early....2:00 I believe.
Many of you also know that I have a great admiration and deep respect for St. Benedict of Nursia, the patron of civil engineers and the founder of western monasticism. I was reflecting this afternoon on a saying attributed to him "All are to be welcomed as Christ." Not all that deep, for we all in our humanity are created in the image of the divine, in the image of Christ. Thus it leads that any visitor, heck, anyone we encounter along our lives journey should be welcomed as if we are welcoming Christ. This is easier said than done with our prejudices and ill formed ideas gunking up the heart. Which lead me to ponder another quote of St. Benedict: "Listen with ear of your heart." If only it were so easy at times. We should strive for these ideals, though often we fall short.
Then as I was pondering these things, my phone rang. A different than normal ring, a ring I assigned to a friend of mine's number. Not a close friend who knows all my inner most thoughts or even my life story, nor I know theirs, but a friend none the less. A friend I admire for their strength, courage, and testicular fortitude in following their dreams against long odds. It was a rare call and this friend asked me for help, if I could do something that they did not have time to do that would help them in a very large way. In such instance, I do not think my pondering was randome, there was a reason for why those words were in my mind and thoughts just seconds before this phone call. It is not a big thing for me to do, but to this other it is very important. I could have said no, I could have made an excuse as to why I was a bad choice, but I did neither. I offered my time and my help much to my friends relief, because they did not know how they were going to be able to sell it to me if I balked. "Listen with the ear of you heart" and welcome all as if Christ. With friends it is easy, now if we could follow this with our so called "enemies' our non-friends. Try....and if you can't do it...fake it unti you're not faking anymore because it has become habit.
And a final thought, perhaps St. Benedict's most important rule for his rules of monastic life can be found in the first word of his Rule: Listen. With all the noise in the world, if we would stop and listen, we hear much and protest less.