‘Can’t Never Could’

Terry Walton



I Was Thinking…

I read a few weeks ago some thoughts that have continued to live with me.  They arose from my devotional study on Benedictine Spirituality.  Joan Chittister writes in an insightful fashion. 

There are corrosive effects of constant complaining.  Complaining is the acid that shrivels our own souls and the soul of the community around us as well.  Complaining is what shapes our mental set.  Feelings, psychology tells us, do not affect thoughts.  Thoughts affect feelings.  What we allow ourselves to think is what we are really allowing ourselves to feel.  When we learn how to correct our thought processes, then we learn not only how to stabilize our own emotions but how to change the environment around us at the same time.  What we see as negative we make negative and feel negative about.  What we are willing to think about in a positive way becomes positive.”

Complaining, in other words, undermines the hope of a community and smothers possibility in a group.  The whiner, the constant critic, the armchair complainer make an office, a family, a department, a community a polluted place to be.” (The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century-P. 190)

My mom and dad passed on this wisdom to us children… “Can’t never could do nothing”.  I know the grammar is not correct but the truth is very correct.  I ask us during this first week of Advent, “What is it we complain about?”  “What is it that we think ‘can’t’ be done?”  Perhaps this ‘Week of Advent Hope’ is just for us.  The reality is this:  either we believe that the long awaited Messiah came in Jesus or we don’t believe it.  If we believe it then ‘Emmanuel-God With Us’ is a reality that changes everything…even what we complain about and think can’t be done.
Always Thinking…

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