The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 4 Pt. 3
In much of the Bible, the Judgment of God is a great hope to be invoked by the people of God. It is invoked, at its worst, as a punishment of enemies or as a means of control. In its best form, the hope is in a Reality that frees us from the need to be judge, a posture that, when we assume it, reflects back upon us and a condition that profoundly clouds our vision (Matt. 7:1-5). When God is Judge, I don't need to be. I can accept what is as it is.
How often do my thoughts and my words seek to manipulate what is? How often do I avoid the uncomfortable, formative moment?
One poignant image from this passage is in number 50, "When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ immediately," or, as another translation puts it, "to cast them down at the feet of Christ." This metaphor plays out often in my experience. I find myself, daily, falling prey to habits of thought and emotion that are at home in my small egoic mind instead of in God's large, unitive mind. I become the judge: impatient, overwhelmed, contemptuous, defensive, and, at the core, lonely. When I am given the grace to recognize this in myself, if I turn the attention of my heart to the Master, I find Christ to be as close as my breath: patient, at peace, kind, generous, and hospitable. At this point I find on my lips the request, "O God, make speed to save me. O Lord, make haste to help me," and Christ comes to me in that moment as liberator, as savior, as the judicious and longed-for judge.