Friday, June 5, 2009

How to be good

How many times have you heard or said, "be good"?
I say that to my dog when I leave the house, most times she listens. I say it to my daughter and husband, and most times they listen too! And, I say it to myself!
In re-reading a passage in the book "The Poem of the Man God" by Maria Valtorta, where Jesus explains a way or method of how to do this being good stuff.
In replying to Peter who had just asked what Jesus and the disciples were discussing as he came upon them. (Jesus had been teaching about being good).
Jesus said, "order, patience, perseverance, humility, charity.
Peter asked what order had to do with it.
Jesus responds, "Disorder is never a good quality. I mention it first, whereas I mentioned charity last, because they are the two extremities of the straight line of perfection. Now you know that a straight line on a plane has neither a beginning nor end. Each extremity can be either the beginning or the end, whereas in the case of the spiral, or any other design which is not enclosed in itself, there is always a beginning and an end. Holiness is linear, simple, perfect and has but two extremities, like a straight line.
Peter said, "It is easy to draw a straight line..."
Jesus says, "Do you think so? you are wrong. In a drawing, even if it is a complicated one, some imperfections may not be noticed. But an error is noticed at once in a straight line.
Joseph, when he taught me the trade, insisted a great deal that the boards should be straight and quite rightly he used to say, "see son? a small imperfection may not be seen in a decoration or in a turned work, because the eye, unless it is very experienced, if it watches one point, does not see another. But if a board is not as straight as it should be, even the most simple work will not be satisfactory, such as a poor table for a peasant. It will be on a slant or it will wobble. It is only good for the fire".
Who starts his spiritual work in an unplanned manner, starting from useless things, jumping from one thing to another, like a restless bird, will end up by not being able to join the various parts of his work. They will not fit in. Therefore, order and charity. Then, holding those two extremities firm in two vices, so that they may not move, you can work at all the rest decorations or carving, whatever it may be."
So there you have it, Order, patience, perseverance, humility, charity. These 5 things starting with order, ending with charity will help you "be good".
You can apply this to all sorts of things you want to be good at. Even shopping for groceries, making a bed, planting flowers or washing dishes, etc. Practice being good at small efforts and discover that you will remember to apply these methods at doing good in other areas of your life.
By the way, I highly recommend reading The Poem of the Man God:)!!


Veronica Funk said...

Your work is lovely and your words heartwarming (the music is peaceful, too). Your words remind me of the beauty of the words 'be still'.

Annie said...

I've never heard of The Poem of Man so I googled it. Oh my but am I intrigued?