According to his biographer, St. Athanasius, St. Anthony of Egypt, one of the great spiritual teachers of the early church, grew in holiness by going about “like a wise bee,” visiting every flower, and making the gifts he found in others his own. He was a spiritual competitor, engaged in holy rivalry.
Some years ago there was a book about religious communities called “A Concert of Charisms.” Each community has its own gift and in concert religious communities make beautiful music.
But how about holy rivalry? Yes, we can kill each other competing, but holy competition isn’t the worst thing in the world. There’s something healthy about it.
I was thinking about that as Liturgical Press, the publishing arm of the Benedictines at St. John’s Abbey, announced a new daily aid to prayer for this August called: Give Us This Day: A Daily Guide for Today’s Catholic
Here’s how they describe it:
“Give Us This Day supports your desire to establish prayer as a part of your life, enhancing your existing practices and deepening your encounter with God by providing:
- A practical approach to daily prayer
- Prayers and readings for daily Mass
- Daily prayer, Morning and Evening
A reflection on the Scriptures for each day”
Surely, the Benedictines realize they’re competing with “The Magnificat” and “Daily Bread” “The St Joseph Missal” and a good number of others in the field, each with their own gifts and approaches.
Hooray for the Benedictines and their embrace of holy rivalry. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the new production. How about some holy rivals for EWTN?