Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Can't Seem to Help Myself

I can be fully engaged in reading an article in a magazine and when someone comes into the office, I have to look up to see who has entered. I can be engrossed in reading the meditation for the day, sitting in the Chapel even, and when a kneeler goes down, I have to take a peek at who has joined me. I can be talking on the phone and as two people in the same room begin talking, I strain to try to hear both conversations. I have never really thought much about my curiosity or rather my nosiness until I read a meditation in the Magnificat magazine this month on Curbing Curiosity. Now, I can't seem to get it off my mind. Here's a little of what St. Bernard of Clairvaux has to say on the topic: "The first step of pride is curiosity. How does it show itself? Now you begin to notice that wherever you are, standing, walking or sitting, your eyes are wandering, your glance darts right and left, your ears are cocked. Some change has taken place in you, every movement shows it... My friend, if you gave yourself the attention you ought, I do not think you would have much time to look after others... Are the eyes never to be raised at all? Yes, but only for two reasons: to look for help and to help others." Whoa! What! And so, I've been trying but I have to say that it seems impossible not to lift my eyes and turn my head and listen to the murmurs. At first, I thought I would have no problem because I don't always pay much attention to gossip mainly due to the fact that I do not know who others are talking about anyway. But, not to lift or turn my head in curiosity. It's tough. I'll tell ya. Ya need to try this and as you do, or don't as the case will be, think about why you want to know who has entered, who has joined you and why, or who others are talking about or to. I personally, can't seem to help myself but I'm willing to keep trying. It really makes me stop and thing, maybe, just maybe, St. Bernard knows exactly what he's talking about and that's why we look to the words and wisdom of the saints. Just for today, just try to concentrate on raising our eyes only to look for help or to help others! I guess this is what my parents have been trying to tell me my entire life when they've said, "You take care of Julie and let everyone else take care of themselves."

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