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Order: What is order?

For me, I tend to immediately think of my untidy shelves when asked to focus on order. When asked to practice order I immediately begin to arrange and organize my possessions. I think this is a natural response, I think most of us tend towards this sort of interpretation.

Natural and Divine Order

As we move forward this week into the concept itself, I am going to ask you to suspend you preconceptions about the idea of order and open yourself to understand the idea of Order as a Divine virtue.

What we’ll be working on this week is ‘The Virtue of Order’, true Order. True Order may defy our every notion of organization, neat filing, clean rooms, etc. Or, it may be absolutely organized and tidy.

So what then is the Virtue of Order?

On first glance, “Order” is a very simple topic, but as we begin to scratch it’s surface, it reveals a subtle interwoven complexity of meaning akin to an intricate rug. Let’s begin the week by simply getting familiar with the five basic forms of the word itself, “Order”:

1.A logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group. (ex. The shelf was neat and in good order )

2.The established system of social organization: (ex. The Fraternal Order of the Holy Cross)

3.Degree of quality or importance; rank: (ex. That is art of the highest order.)

4.To issue a command or instruction to: (ex. Here are my orders)

5.The act of putting into a methodical, systematic arrangement.

The subtleties begin to show themselves, Order can refer to a command, an organization, the quality or importance of something, the arrangement, or the arranging of things. A versatile word to be sure! Order can refer to a command, an organization, the quality or importance of something, the arrangement, or the arranging of things. A versatile word to be sure!

Before we move forward, I want to bring your focus to the second meaning from the above list, “An established system of social organization”.

This type of “Coming to order” through arranging and organizing will be part of this week’s practice, but we will also be looking towards the higher levels and meaning underlying the concept, namely “Social Order, Nature’s Order, and Divine Order”.

So for today, the exercise is straight forward and easy to do, simply look at your life and situations through the lens of order. You don’t need to do anything active about it today, for now, just go through your day becoming aware of what order is and means to you!

See you tomorrow!

Next Page: Order Day 2: Good Working Order >>

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