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Beloved jhanajian comments beautifully....
It's easy to be a saint while living in a monastery. There's little or no temptation in a monastery to be anything other than a saint. The really hard thing to do is to be a saint (whatever that might be!) while living in the world. We've all heard the teaching "to be in the world, but not of the world". There's good reason for that teaching. Being in the world (and particularly the workplace) is the alchemical process that turns dross metal into gold. The world is the fire that will consume and transform us if we willingly take part in the process.

It's easy in a monastery to not get caught up in the greed and competitiveness and jealousy and pettiness, etc, etc, etc. It's not so easy to not get caught up in these things while living in the world. You have to be very aware and very conscious and very focused on your own values in order to avoid becoming a part of the corruption. And let's not forget that the world does not exist only outside of ourselves. We are the world. So being in the world is an opportunity to see the greed and the pettiness and all of that stuff within ourselves as well. It's an opportunity to grow and to become a witness - and it is the witness that becomes the death of the ego.

So it seems to me that it is those of us who are going through the fires of this world, and count it as a blessing in disquise, who need not worry about lagging behind in our connection with God.

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