After a few days of newspapers and reflecting on their contents … I am convinced that what we need above all, and seem to have lost, are … the belief that order is possible, and that it rests with us to preserve it … If today, … order has become incredible it is because people are not fully capable of experiencing themselves as persons with sufficient dignity and responsibility to contribute to order … (Emphasis added.)

Thomas Merton, in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

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When the culture manufactures disorder, you must seek order.

It is that simple.  Those who sought a monastic life were reacting to the chaos and confusion of the world at-large.  They sought wholeness, peace, an integrated life which they knew instinctively meant an existence built on a relationship with God, a life ordered to a relationship with God.

Folks, the struggle never fundamentally changes.  People are always people.  And God is always God.  That said, we rebel and we are prone to disobedience and each creates confusion, produces illness, conflict, broken relationships and injured lives.

You see all disobedience and rebellion are predicated on lies – and evil is the end product of living lies. Think “political correctness” which is in actuality simply “lying, deception, dishonesty, disaster.”  In its present extreme, by the way, it is blatantly foolish and obviously destructive no matter what presidents, politicians, the news media, movie “stars,” pundits, The New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC and others say to the contrary. 

Monastic life was ordered to prayer, reading, work, helping others and hospitality. This was an ordered existence – life ordered to health, contentment, Truth, meaning and purpose resting on faith and relationship with God and others.

A life of modest work, prayer, reading, helping others and hospitality restores order. Ironically, in monastic life work was limited to four or five hours a day so that the ordering aspects of live could be accommodated.

The Fathers of monastic life knew purposeful and productive work could be expeditiously produced in part of the day, if other matters were also attended to. Isn’t that wisdom that we have lost today!

In seeking order we move toward health and life everlasting.  The place of hospitality and helping others said: after God, people are the most precious part of our existence.  How brilliant and simple is this!!!  Do we honor it in the breach today, in exclusionary secular culture?

Disorder comes when we lose track of what is important – God and the human person.

The disorder you experience exists because we have lost contact with God and the value of the human person.

Order awaits.  It is up to you.  Seizing order in a disordered culture requires that you disengage from what is making you sick, and lost, discontented, troubled.

Think about this.

Shalom.

Live spelled backward is evil.

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