Thursday, July 14, 2005

Benedict for the New Pentecost

St Benedict, in his Rule, roots everything we do in prayer. "First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to Him most earnestly to bring it to perfection." Perhaps this is the first counsel we Christians in the world should take up--in the world, in our work, in our professions, in our daily tasks, in our interactions with other people, in our words and deeds, in our secular investment, we should first pray. Daily. Hourly.

And the Church gives us ways to do this--not least, the Liturgy of the Hours, with its daily round of psalms, readings, and intercessions. Morning and evening we offer to God His own Word in prayer. Every morning:

"O Lord, open my lips!"
"And my mouth will proclaim Your praise!"

And hourly:

"O God, come to my assistance!"
"O Lord, make haste to help me!"

As St Benedict teaches, this is the first thing we should do--rouse ourselves up in prayer to our Maker, in praise, thanksgiving, and petition. As he says, "Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out this charge--'Today, if you hear the voice of the Lord, do not grow stubborn!'"

Pope Benedict XVI too calls us to prayer, to orient ourselves toward God, and thus to experss the dignity of what it is to be human. So let's do this--Oremus! Let's pray in our work, our tasks, our involvement in the world.

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