“The brethren, therefore, regardless of what work they are doing, ought to conduct themselves toward each other in love and cheerfulness. And the one who works should say of him who is praying: ‘I also possess the treasure which my brother possesses since it is common.’ And let him who prays say of him who reads: ‘What he gains from reading redounds also to my advantage.’ And he who works let him thus say: ‘The work which I am doing is for the common good.’ For as the members of the body, being many, are one body (1 Cor 12.12) and help each other while each still performs its own function–as the eye sees for the whole body and the hand labours for all the members and the foot walks, sustaining all the members, and another members suffers with all the others– so also the brethren should be among themselves.
Thus he who prays should not judge the one working because he is not praying. Neither should he who works condemn the one praying because he is resting while he himself is at work. Neither should he who is serving condemn another. But let each one do whatever he is doing for the glory of God. He who reads should regard the one praying with love and joy with the thought: ‘For me he is praying.’ And let him who prays consider what the one working is doing as done for the common good.” St. Macarius the Great, The Fifty Spiritual Homilies, Homily 3, Chapter 2.
So often we get fixated on our task as the center of the world. This blindness only leads us to not perceiving the work of God in my brother for me. Let us recognize the manifold ways in which we can co-work with God for the good of my neighbor. Let us also then think of how the talent given to me by God is required for the service of my neighbor. Anything given to me by God must be the common belonging of the entire body. As St. Macarius says, “The eye sees for the whole body”. Let us transform our reading, our prayer, our quiet time into being for the whole body of Christ and not just for ourselves.
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