Finally, and most importantly, what is your relationship with Christ? What is your relationship with prayer? With scripture? With worship and the sacraments? With the reality of your own sin?
Wow, question 8 packs a wallop. And they’re 6 little wallops.
Well, I’m a sinner, no question. I miss the mark more than I hit it. I've often failed to do what I ought to have done. I’ve often done what I ought not to have done. Good Lord forgive me.
And Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. I’ve been, I am still, and I will be born again. All that I was, all that I am, and all that I will be is the life I have in, by, and through my Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God.
I know this because I know I take intentional steps and actions to live a life that endeavors to be consistent with my religious beliefs as found in the baptismal covenant of the Episcopal Church. Am I perfect? No. Am I observant? Yes. Do my actions and observance reflect my beliefs? Yes. Am I always successful? No. I’m human, thank God.
As for my relationship with prayer, scripture, worship and sacraments? Well . . . if observant religious life were my life-time baseball batting average it’d be `bout .285 to .310. I pray, often daily and anyplace that suits; it’s usually at night; it’s usually brief; it’s usually a thanksgiving and a hope. I read and reflect, sometimes with scripture! I worship weekly; I don’t feel badly if I miss. I glean spiritual insight into the meaning of religious and secular life as it reflects God in world when I regularly attend service. I observe and respect the sacraments. I believe in so doing I’m blessed. I don’t do as prayer as I’d like to think I might. I probably do more than most lay folks, but who knows. I pray priests do more than I. I know monastics do much more than I.
Monks live inside a campus dei; living is ordered in a balanced manner to reflect God in the monk, in the community, in the world. I like the Benedictine Way. It’s a balance of prayer, scripture, worship and liturgy, sacraments, work, learning, and reflection. I’m not a monastic but such an order of weaves a personal relationship with prayer, scripture, worship, sacraments, learning, reflection, music, and work into an order of living. The monastic model gently transforms a person into a disciple.
I tell my wife, if she dies before I do, I’ll never remarry but retreat to monastery. It’ll never happen I’m a viejo. The monastic living model is a blessing beyond monastic walls. Monastic steps are concrete steps one can take, make, and do.
I know there is more I could do to reflect God in the order of my life and see God’s reflect God in the lives of others. I know there’s more.