One of Saint Benedict’s favorite sayings was actually stolen from Saint Augustine: “Let pleasure be taken not in commanding but in being of service.” That’s just another way for the “master in the school of divine service” to say what the Collect attributes to him this morning: ‘Lord, I put nothing before love of you.”
The Pope, whose nameday we celebrate today, said much the same thing this past Good Friday. Speaking of the relic of the seamless garment of our Lord on display in the Cathedral of Trier, the Holy Father proposed a patristic analogy between the seamless garment and the unity of the Church, a unity too often wounded by “our selfishness, our weaknesses and [our] mistakes...” driven by the corrosive effect of the narcissistic “gotcha” mentality so prevelant in the blogosphere, in politics, and even in the Church
But as the Responsorial reminds us, no matter how hard we try God foils the designs of the peoples, and brings to nought the plans of the nations. Only God’s plan stands for ever. Not ours. Only Gods.
So, on this feast of Saint Benedict, let us root out from our hearts all traces of selfishness and nacissitic individualism, of rivalry, resentment, or hate. Let us beg the mercy of God, and put nothing before Love of him and his Church.
Monsignor James P. Moroney