by Debbonnaire Kovacs

 
Chapter 9 in The Monastery of the Heart is titled “Equality.” In it, Chittister begins by saying that we like to think equality is the characteristic of our age—that we are all equal now, with equal importance and respect, and equal opportunities. But, she contends that in fact “inequality is the greatest sign of our time.”
 

. . . it is also our world
that enslaves the poor to the drudgery
of survival, that ranks women as lower human beings
than men,
that distributes the goods
 we produce
according to race,
that worships at the feet
of the gods of money,
and lives in gated communities
in order to keep
the rest of the world out.
 
To this world,
Benedictine spirituality says clearly,
“No.”

 
She points out that elders, who have lived longer in the heat of life are considered as elders or wisdom figures, as signs that
 

. . . life grows sweeter with time,
 . . . holier with experience,
 . . .richer of heart
as the heart grows deeper into God.
 
But age and seniority
are also not its gods.
 . . .”the Spirit often reveals what is better
to the younger.”
 
The principle is a clear one:
“The Spirit blows where it will.”
We cannot damp down
the fire of the Spirit
on the basis of anything
but the greater movement
of the Spirit itself.

 
I find it noteworthy that Chittister does not say “We must not.” She says “We cannot.
 
I think it’s a principle at which the Adventist denomination as a whole would do well to step back and take another look. And a few more prayers.
 
Enough said.