Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Celebration of First Vespers


Tonight we began our celebration of the Solemnity of St. Benedict! I was excited to be home for our Vespers on the eve of the feast. After all the travel around Rome and the foundations of our Benedictine life, to simply be in chapel with our sisters to chant the Psalms was a blessing. The melodic rhythm of our call and response between choirs and the poetry of the psalms is more than singing lyrics; it allows us, well me, to rest my heart in the ancient prayers of God's Chosen People. My heart also rests in the prayer of my sisters as we share the Liturgy of the Hours together...each of us upholding the other.

Our reading tonight was a portion from the Prologue of the Rule of Benedict. It is always a reminder for me of our Call to monastic life and of Christ being the one who Calls us all to follow our Father Benedict.

"Listen carefully, my child, to my instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from one who loves you; welcome it and faithfully put it into practice. The labor of obedience will bring you back to God from whom you had drifted through the sloth of disobedience. This message of mine is for you, then, if you are ready to give up your own will, once and for all, and armed with the strong and noble weapons of obedience to do battle for Jesus, the Christ.

"First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to God most earnestly to bring it to perfection. In God's goodness, we are already counted as God's own, and therefore we should never grieve the Holy One by our evil actions. With the good gifts which are in us, we must obey God at all times that God may never become the angry parent who disinherits us, nor the dreaded one, enraged by our sins, who punishes us forever as worthless servants for refusing to follow the way to glory.

Let us get up then, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse us when they say: "It is high time for us to arise from sleep" (Rom. 13:11). Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from the heavens that every day calls out this charge: "If you hear God's voice today, do not harden your hearts" (Ps. 95: 8). And again: "You that have ears to hear, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev. 2:7). And what does the Spirit say? "Come and listen to me; I will teach you to reverence God" (Ps. 34:12). "Run while you hve the light of life, that the darkness of death may not overtake you" (John 12:35).


No comments: