In Deuteronomy Moses spoke to the people and said, “I teach you the statutes and decrees as the Lord, my God, has commanded me, that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy. Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,…For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? (Chapter 4: 1, 5-7)
Our Constitutions and Statutes are not meant to be confining. They are gifts; wisdom to guide us. They give us boundaries so we don’t get off the road as we journey towards our destination, so that we get there safely, and ultimately arrive.
They are God given so that we can be witnesses to God – if we listen, obey and internalize them. Then we will have them written on our hearts where we naturally live them out, we no longer need to study and review them, they are ours. Then we will live in a way that if the written copies of our Constitutions and Statutes were lost, they could be reconstructed by someone witnessing the lives we live.
We no longer measure to see how little we need to do to get by, or how much we can get away with and still slide by. Recall the final paragraph in the Rule of St. Albert, “ Here are the few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of conduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming, will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of discretion are not exceeded, however, for discretion is the guide of the virtues.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross said: "...the obedient person studies the Rule and the Constitutions, not to ferret out how many so called 'freedoms' are still permitted, but to recognize more and more how many small sacrifices are available daily and hourly as opportunities to advance in self-denial. Such a one takes them on as an easy yoke and a light burden, because doing so deepens the conviction of being closely bound to the Lord who was obedient to death on the cross".
So let’s be generous! After all God is never outdone in generosity!
“How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me?
I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.”