but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother's eye. Luke 6
How foolish we can be, too quick to judge, too quick to notice another's fault or failure, while totally oblivious to our foolishness and failures. And yet the tender love and relentless rescue of Jesus make our foolish failures almost worth it. For we are meant to be icons of his rescue, our very selves, revelations of what Christ’s ongoing merciful rescue can accomplish if we give him the least bit if access to our broken hearts.
We welcome him with our need for him. As monks this means constant awareness of our foolishness, what we often refer to as "bitter self-knowledge," the need to constantly, joyfully remember who we really are, Who it is that we really need. Our life of incessant prayer requires incessant awareness of our poverty. This is after all the best way to receive the Holy Communion Jesus offers each morning at the altar.
Photograph by Brother Brian.