Archive for December 21st, 2020

A constant fidelity in small things is a great virtue.

St. Bonaventure

Striving to make a difference is indeed among the noblest of pursuits. Those doing so among us stand out, now with special luminance, given the contrast with the daily displays of flagrant public narcissism and studied indifference.

As the dawn of Christmastide approaches, I find myself reflecting on a special form of difference making: the subtle generosity of attention to the little details.

Standing so much taller than grand magnanimity are the small gestures of quiet kindness, conscientiousness and authentic regard. These cost nothing and take no time. They require no ornate wrapping nor a well fashioned card announcing the gift-giver. Not seeking reciprocity nor even notice, these are the quintessential Moments of Christ.

The opening quote by The Seraphic Doctor, Saint Bonaventure, captures the heart of this virtue: “fidelity in small things”. This is the discipline that ensures the vitality of the wellspring of kindness.

If we learned this, we did so very early. We were encouraged to pay attention to such detail as: putting things back where they belong after using them, being timely, clearing away one thing before taking on another, listening completely before speaking, and being quick to praise and slow to criticize.

A resonant feature of religious life is fidelity to the small points of our rule of life. We recite the Office unhurriedly each day. We stop to pray throughout the day regardless of the press of business. We see the person before we see the urgent task. We delight in seeing someone and letting them know it before we get down to the work of the moment. We think of one another each night before bed.

Right order and pacing are essential ingredients to having space in our heads and hearts for our sisters and brothers. The true aptitude of “ obedience” in the Spirit is rooted in an enthusiastic readiness to be open to the next moment of Christ. Such faithfulness to the small things is surely prerequisite to fully seeing, receiving and celebrating the miraculous.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”.

Ephesians 1:18

© The Harried Mystic, 2020 and Br. Anton, TSSF. and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Read Full Post »