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Orderliness

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From the Rising of the Sun to its Setting May the name of the Lord be praised

(Psalm 113:3).

We all know there are some things in life we cannot control­­—the weather, sunrise, sunset, or the cycles of nature. There are also some things we do without even realizing it—breathing, blinking our eyes, and swallowing. Yet, from nature to biology every action has a purpose and an order.

The virtue of orderliness enables us to bring order into our lives. Jesus told us that a good tree bears good fruit (Mt. 7:18). This same truth applies to orderliness. How we order our exterior life can also reflect our interior life. For example, a daily routine and uncluttered life provide inner calmness and harmony.  So, for this week, let’s take this virtue challenge:

Just this week—tackle one area of your life that needs more order.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Does your daily routine include time for prayer?
  • Is there a drawer or closet that needs to be put in order?
  • Do you make your bed each day?
  • What does the inside of your car look like?
  • How many files to you have on your desktop?

For me, I am clearing out over 20,000 emails in my inbox.

Finally, let us look at the life of St. Benedict as a model of virtue and order of life.

© San Nicolo del Lido, Venice, Italy / The Bridgeman Art Library

            St. Benedict lived a life of strict adherence to prayer and work and demanded the same of his followers. When Benedict became a monk, he went to a cave at Subiaco. At that time monasteries were not very organized, and sometimes this was problematic when difficulties arose. Other monks noticed Benedict’s holiness and humility, so they asked him to be their leader. He wrote a rule for a way of life. He wanted his monks to live balanced lives and grow in virtue. The rule provided them with the exterior orderliness necessary to maintain interior orderliness. It also helped them worship God throughout the day in their prayer, work, and recreation.

            We are not all called to live by St. Benedict’s rule but having order in our lives will lead us to holiness. For some people, it seems that as they order their interior lives, the environment they live in slowly becomes more organized as well. Likewise, trying to order our exterior lives first will make it much easier to adjust whatever interior mess we may have. May we all take a page out of St. Benedict’s rule and find the perfect way to order our lives toward the Lord.

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