Friday, October 24, 2014

Chapter 18: The order for reciting the psalms (paragraph 3)


These same psalms are repeated daily until Sunday and the identical arrangement of hymns, lessons and verses is retained everyday. (From para. 3 of Ch. 18 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

It seems to me that a spirit of fidelity to practice pervades Benedict's sense of order -- just as it pervades the tradition of the mantra as taught by John Main.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chapter 18: The order for reciting the psalms (paragraphs 1-2)


Each hour begins with the following verse: O God come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me. (From para. 1 of Ch. 18 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

I experience so deeply in my heart the resonance that Benedict begins each hour with the exact same verse that Cassian recommends for continuous prayer. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chapter 17: The number of psalms to be sung at the hours


We have already set out the order of the psalms for Vigils and for Lauds. Now let us look at the order of the psalms for the rest of the Hours. (From para. 1 of Ch. 17 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

Benedict's instructions about ordering the psalms for the hours, like the disciplined repetition of the mantra, teach me that God is always with me -- that Jesus is praying in me, that I am called to join him in the river of constant praise to the Father.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chapter 16: The hours of the work of God during the day


And so at these times let us offer praise to our Creator because of his justice revealed in his judgements -- that is at Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline and in the night let us arise to praise him. (From Ch. 16 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

Keeping time holy is, for me, one of the most wonderful of monastic disciplines. In my life, I have the stability of my twice-daily practice of meditation, a stability which spreads itself out into more continuous prayer -- of my breathing the mantra on a path of redemption, redeeming me, my conditions, and redeeming time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chapter 15: When the Alleluia should be said


From the holy feast of Easter until Pentecost the Alleluia must always be said in the psalms and the responsories.... (From Chap. 15 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

As Joan Chitister says, Benedict would have us always be an "alleluia people". But beyond liturgy, I'm learning how important it is for me to say Alleluia when it's hardest to do.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chapter 14: The celebration of Vigils on feasts of saints


On the feasts of saints and on all other solemnities Vigils should follow the order laid down for the celebration of Sunday except that the psalms, antiphons and readings that are appropriate to the day should be recited; the order of the liturgy itself remains the same as that described for Sunday. (Ch. 14 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

My grasp of the "communion of saints" has grown and deepened and become personal, with my experience of being one in silence.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chapter 13: Lauds on ordinary days (paragraph 2)


It is important that the celebration of Lauds and Vespers should never be concluded without the recitation by the superior of the whole of the Lord's prayer so that all may hear and attend to it. This is because of the harm that is often done in a community by the thorns of conflict which can arise. (From para. 2 of Ch. 13 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

For me, forgiveness does not come through the ego or an act of my will.  Forgiveness comes through grace -- a sense of belonging to God and to all of creation.