Lopsided Views

Recently I discovered two things.
While poking around in one of the buildings of my new charge I found a modern biography of St. Francis. I grabbed it and another book about an incident in Francis’ life. The second discovery is one i made during my reading. I was beginning to use my spiritual reading time only for readings that appealed to me.
Yes, it is more likely a task will be completed if we are truly interested and engaged in it. What happens when we lose interest? Is it all right then to lose engaging the task? What would happen if I approached the Bible that way? Will I really grow spiritually if I only read the parts of holy scripture I like?
If I only read about holy people whose ways of life, practice, and thought appeal to me, I lose the benefits of what I may find. Curiously enough I could find my spiritual life stunted because I never discipline myself to read or think about something with which I disagree.
Should I not slog through the difficult and tedious propositions of St. Thomas Aquinas? Are St. Irenaeus or St. Augustine really out of step with modern feeling. Why is St. Benedict so strict in observance? Can’t we understand the discipline of work and prayer with Brother Lawrence? The “neo-orthodox” movement is finished. But, Bonhoeffer and Barth can still teach us something can’t they?
The danger with listening to only voices we wish to hear is that sooner or later their voice becomes melded into our own. That is the worst form of narcissism and pride of all.
Lopsided views contribute to lopsided living. We can only turn the world right side up when we are able to stand upright ourselves. I am sure the blessed St. Francis would after my delivering an enthusiastic lesson on his life would present me with a broom and water to sweep the church and contemplate my wrong-headed spiritual insights.

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