January 27, May 28, September 27
Chapter 7: On Humility
Let a man consider
that God is always looking at him from heaven,
that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes
and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
This is what the Prophet shows us
when he represents God as ever present within our thoughts,
in the words “Searcher of minds and hearts is God” (Ps. 7:10)
and again in the words “The Lord knows the thoughts of men” (Ps. 93:11).
Again he says,
“You have read my thoughts from afar” (Ps. 138:3)
and “The thoughts of people will confess to You” (Ps. 75:11).
In order that he may be careful
about his wrongful thoughts, therefore,
let the faithful brother say constantly in his heart,
“Then shall I be spotless before Him,
if I have kept myself from my iniquity” (Ps. 17:24).
Can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I sure don’t think about God and the angels paying that much attention to what I say and do. And yet I know they do. Seems to me Benedict knew that it is hard to keep this always in our minds, so he selected this verse from Psalms as a way to occupy the mind when it might wander away from thoughts of God.
I’ve tried to use the Jesus Prayer in this manner. Park the car, walk across the parking lot while praying the Jesus Prayer. Then I trip over the tree root pushing up through the asphalt and I am distracted.
I don’t recommend praying the Jesus Prayer while driving. One really needs to give the
whole of one’s attention to that. I believe God and the angles agree with me on this point.
Surely keeping the thought of the Lord always in one’s mind is the perfect prevention against sin. But I sure find it hard to do.