Sister Gretchen Johnston – Perfectionism or Way of Perfection *

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Sister Gretchen Johnston – Perfectionism or Way of Perfection *

Can any one of us be totally adequate in our work?   Whatever we do (I am a musician) we try to do the best we can and strive to do better or go further than we have before.

The Rule of St. Benedict, Illumination and Calligraphy Copyright © 1990, Benedictine Sisters Benevolent Association

Sister Manuela Scheiba, in her talk “Learning to Pray: A Journey through Benedict’s Chapter on Humility” which I heard while at the Monastic Institute June 26 – 30, says that the sixth step of humility** is about cherishing closeness with God.  We cannot be totally adequate because we are human and subject to many limitations and failings. With the sixth step of humility in mind, however, we can be content with our inadequacy because God is fulfilling all.  Perfectionism is built on comparison with others or oneself.  Walking the path of perfection is giving up on exaggerated focus on ourselves and trusting God to be our all-in-all.  For myself, this means that my music is a gift from God, but also the day-to-day practice is a gift from God. What does it mean for you?  ____

* Psalm 101:2,  Grail Translation

**  The sixth step of humility is that a monastic is content with the lowest and most menial treatment, and regards him/herself as a poor and worthless workman in any given task, saying with the Prophet, “I am insignificant and ignorant . . . yet I am with you always.”  (Ps. 73:22-23)

Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict