Monday, February 21, 2011

At the end of chapter 5 of Matthew, we get a long list of do's and don'ts about prayer, fasting, personal piety.  In one way, they come down to the general rule, Don't be ostentatious.

Nobody likes a showoff, baby.

But they also put me in mind of this card a Jesuit once gave me:

Look up and not down, 
Out and not in, 
Forward and not back.

Sometimes ostentation signals we're paying too much attention to ourselves.  What a great and challenging goal to try and go it "without a mirror", spiritually speaking -- that is, to keep our eyes on what's going on around us and the needs there, and to truly try and ignore ourselves.

Ignore yourself -- really, there's something to that, I think. Give it a shot.

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