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Lamp Oil and Maidens

I came over to the church this afternoon to go over tomorrow's sermon and to meditate.  It is quiet here in the office with the sound of the outdoor chimes playing in the background.  I am at peace.  Or at least as at peace as a guy like me can get.  I have been thinking about the sermon and how I am looking forward to giving it.  Often, I will go over the readings on Monday and kind of let them stew around for several days before I put anything on the computer screen.

This week I waited till Friday because I have had a cold.  The gospel reading is a familiar one.  It has to do with the bridesmaids and oil lamps.  Some have prepared and have enough oil.  Others, not so much.  The reading seems pretty straight forward.  Always be prepared.  Live your life as if tomorrow would be your last because none of us knows when our time has come. 

It all sounds kind of ominous but really, is it??  Jesus just wants us to love each other, be kind to others, be gratious, to forgive.  When you look at those qualities, they seem to be describing a really nice person.  Don't we all want to be really nice persons?

Robert Louis Stevenson's twelve rules come to mind.  Here they are.

12 Rules to Live By - Robert Louis Stevenson

Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Don’t let criticism worry you. You can’t please everybody.

Don’t let your neighbors set your standards; be yourself.

Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.

Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.

Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about places.

Don’t hold post-mortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.

Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

It seems to me that if we follow simple rules like these, then our spiritual lamps will always be filled with the spiritual oil and we will always be ready for the time when the bridegroom comes.

Fr. Fred

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