Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28-34 This passage is a unique exchange between one of the scribes and Jesus. This particular scribe is not out to ensnare Jesus but approaches Him with an open, honest, and extremely intelligent mind. Jesus is actually impressed by this man’s insights and intuitive understanding of the Word of God; even though He does not give the man a traditional, rote answer, the scribe agrees and even expands on Christ’s answer with further insights that are in keeping with the spirit of Jesus’s own, new spirituality. The scribe asks, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replies, quoting from the Old Testament: “The first is this: The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Now Jesus has added a second commandment to the traditional, Old Testament command. However, the scribe
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The Seven Virtues by Anton Francesco dello Scheggia (photo credit: Google Art Project). Through prayer and study, I’ve created a list of the elements of an education that I think best starts children on this road. Divine union comes through living a life of prayer and virtue. So, generally speaking, we want to teach about prayer and virtue, model them, and practice them with our children . But we also want a home and a school environment that is conducive to prayer and virtuous living. Prayer requires leisure The Greek work schole, from which “school” comes, means “not-at-work time.” In classical society, school was a leisure activity, a pursuit of wisdom that had little to do with the workaday world. The truest education is free or liberal. It is not “useful” in a utilitarian sense. It is not servile. It is learning about things that are valuable in themselves , rather than means to obtain what we desire. I wrote about leisure’s importance several months
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Fr. Thomas Dubay used to tell this anecdote: The sister of St. Thomas Aquinas once asked him, "How can I become a saint?" St. Thomas answered, "Will it." This story came back to me recently. Trying to accept with peace whatever happens during my day has taught me something: I don't always want to do God's will. When I ruin the dinner I'm making my family, for example, and according to my Lenten resolution I must say, "Jesus, I trust in you," I sometimes say first, "Jesus, I don't want to trust in you. I don't want to let go of my anger and frustration." Or, "Jesus, I trust in you--sort of." The words "I trust in you" are a prayer. They aren't magic. They remind me to trust in God and ask for His help. But they can't make me trust when I don't want to. I must open my heart to grace. I must will it. Continue reading.