Saturday, July 11, 2009

Feast of St. Benedict (Modern Roman Calendar)

In the calendar of the modern Roman liturgy, today is the feast of St. Benedict, the Father of Western Monasticism.

Today would be a good day, accordingly, to consider meditating on the life and virtues of this holy saint, to consider the role of the monastic life within the establishment of a new liturgical movement, to pick up the Rule as part of your devotional reading today, and to consider the fundamental place of the Mass and the Divine Office not only monastic life, but within all Christian life, including that of the domestic church.

In this same spirit, let us conclude with some excerpts from The Rule, from chapters 16, 19 and 20, on the divine office and of reverence at prayer, considering them as they may apply to our particular state of life.

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s the Prophet saith: “Seven times a day I have given praise to Thee” (Ps 118[119]:164), this sacred sevenfold number will be fulfilled by us in this wise if we perform the duties of our service at the time of Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Complin; because it was of these day hours that he hath said: “Seven times a day I have given praise to Thee” (Ps 118[119]:164). For the same Prophet saith of the night watches: “At midnight I arose to confess to Thee” (Ps 118[119]:62). At these times, therefore, let us offer praise to our Creator “for the judgments of His justice;” namely, at Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Complin; and let us rise at night to praise Him (cf Ps 118[119]:164, 62).


"We believe that God is present everywhere and that the eyes of the Lord behold the good and the bad in every place (cf Prov 15:3). Let us firmly believe this, especially when we take part in the Work of God. Let us, therefore, always be mindful of what the Prophet saith, “Serve ye the Lord with fear” (Ps 2:11). And again, “Sing ye wisely” (Ps 46[47]:8). And, “I will sing praise to Thee in the sight of the angels” (Ps 137[138]:1). Therefore, let us consider how it becometh us to behave in the sight of God and His angels, and let us so stand to sing, that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.

"If we do not venture to approach men who are in power, except with humility and reverence, when we wish to ask a favor, how much must we beseech the Lord God of all things with all humility and purity of devotion?"

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