Before Virginia and I got married, we sat down with a local Episcopal priest for a few sessions of premarital counseling. This is something I believe is important for all couples as they prepare to build a life together. In our first session with him, Fr. Matthew shared a piece of wisdom a monk had passed on to him before his own marriage: The commitments made in a marriage are the same as those made in the religious life of a Catholic monk or nun. Classically, most of us know of these commitments as “poverty, chastity, and obedience.” In other words, they are commitments related to money/resources, faithfulness, and power. These three are central areas of shared life that must be worked out in any relationship – a relationship with a spouse, the relationships in a monastery, or the relationships within
a congregation such as ours here at Tree of Life.
Our Soul Matters theme for the month of March is “commitment.” How do the three classic religious commitments play out in your own life? How are you living out your values – alone and in your closest relationships – when it comes to money/resources, faithfulness, and power?
How are we doing with the three classic religious commitments as a UU community? We’re launching our pledge campaign this month, so we will be spending significant time discerning our commitments of money/resources. As individuals and as a congregation, do we think of pledge season as one that connects us to deeper religious commitment, a time of pledging ourselves to ongoing interdependent relationship with one another? And how does that relate to our understanding of faithfulness to one another? Of shared power with one another?
It’s easy to think of the vowed religious life of monks and nuns as wholly separate from the everyday lives of Unitarian Universalists, but the practical and spiritual commitments in both communities are much the same. May this be a season of invitation to deepening our commitment here at Tree of Life.