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Thursday, May 30, 2024
Chapter 7

Accordingly, if "the eyes of God are watching the good and the wicked (Prv 15:3)," if at all times "the Holy One looks down from the heavens on us to see whether we understand and seek God (Ps 14:2);" and if every day the angels assigned to us report our deeds to God day and night, then, we must be vigilant every hour or, as the prophet says in the psalm, God may observe us "falling" at some time into evil and "so made worthless (Ps 14:3)." After sparing us for a while because God is loving and waits for us to improve, we may be told later, "This you did, and I said nothing (Ps 50:21)."

The God-life, Benedict is telling us, is a never-ending, unremitting, totally absorbing enterprise. God is intent on it; so must we be. The Hebrew poet, Moses Ibn Ezra, writes: "Those who persist in knocking will succeed in entering." Benedict thinks no less. It is not perfection that leads us to God; it is perseverance.