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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In the OUT Box

I mentioned the other day that our home is a big mess. Our little cat is thrilled with the variety of things he has to bat around, but we find it all rather off putting.  I can't think straight in a mess. 

I've had to let go of my own embarrassment at the sad looks visitors have.  You know the one, the "Oh, dear, what's happened to these poor nuns?" look.  It will all be over soon.  I've been happy to learn about Iron Man, who is very popular this year.  He seems like an interesting fellow. 

In any case, today's question hit home:

Oh Sister, do you have a saint for disorganized people?! The business papers that I can't throw away going to suffocate me! My office is being built or I should say was until my husband and the contractor had a disagreement and now work has come to a halt and I am about to blow. Can you find a saint for me?

Of course I can! Any saint who founded a religious order would fit the bill. These are people who gathered together a group of people and organized them into a force for doing good and fighting evil.  May I just point out that when people try to live together, life can be very difficult, especially with a group of adults, all with their own idiosyncrasies and opinions.  It's like herding cats.  

Then these saints had to figure out how to help everyone get along and get the job done, find a place for everyone to live and food for everyone to eat and get matching outfits for everyone, figure out ways to expand and form more groups and put various other people in charge.  They also had to petition the Pope for permission to found an order.

Oh! the paperwork!

There are plenty of saints who did all of this: St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Ignatius Loyola....

But let's go with the granddaddy of them all, St. Benedict.

We'd still be making lists of do's and don'ts for people trying to live in group harmony, but we don't have to, because in the 6th century St. Benedict made the granddaddy of all such lists, "The Rule of Benedict".  

"Be careful what you wish for."  Isn't that the way the saying (with a dangling participle) goes?  Benedict took on the task and began writing his rule.  The cats did not like to be herded.  They tried to poison Benedict. Twice.  First, they put poison in his drink, but the cup shattered before he could take a drink.  Then they put poison in his bread, but a raven flew off with it.

No word on what happened to the raven.

Benedict didn't set out to form an order of Benedictine monks or write a set of rules that are so useful that most religious orders still use them today.  It just happened!

Of course it didn't "just happen".  That's silly. Nothing this good, or long lasting or far reaching "just happens". Does anyone actually believe that the "tea party" movement is a grass roots phenomenon?  Of course it isn't.  It has a high degree of organization and money driving it. Perhaps it will be good and long lasting and far reaching. But it didn't "just happen".

These things come about through hard work and attention to detail and the ability to organize and herd those cats.

I can imagine that Benedict could make short work of your office.  Three piles: IN, OUT (to be filed), TRASH.  Done.  Of course, it won't "just happen".  You'll have to do it.  It should go very smoothly and no one will try to poison you.


Terry H Jones said...

A list of saints, beati and venerables who founded religious congregations -


Claudia said...

The computer room makes me look like Suzy Homemaker....you can herd cats with a can of cat food.....

Kimberly St.Clare said...

Love this! In, Out, Trash. I can do that.