Monday, October 15, 2007

Reading for Feb 14, June 15, Oct 15

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 14, June 15, October 15
Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
recited straight through without an antiphon.
After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
then Psalms 117 and 62,
the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps. 148-150);
then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany and so the end.

Some thoughts:

Something that always confuses me is that in traditional monastic practice, the day starts at sundown. As it does for our Jewish brothers and sisters. So Vespers is the first prayers of the new day. maybe I am bad monastic, but I don;t bother to try to figure it out any more. I pray Morning Prayers in the actually morning. Apparently so does Sr. Joan. I will leave it to the more educated Benedictines like Michael Casey or Judith Sutera to explain the nuances of Benedictine prayer. As for me, the message I take is that it is important to pray the Psalms everyday. That is what I who am not in a monastic setting, can do.

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

Every Sunday morning, just as day breaks, Benedict asks us to say five specific psalms: Psalm 67 asks for God's continuing blessings, psalm 51 gives voice to our contrition, psalm 118 recounts God's goodness in times past, psalm 62 pours out a longing for God and psalms 148-150 bring the soul to a burst of praise. The structure itself, in other words, models the disposition of the soul before its God. At the beginning of the week, we ask for the energy of grace to go from this sabbath to the next, we acknowledge the struggles of the week before us and the failings of the week that is past, we remember God's eternal fidelity in good times and bad, we recognize publicly that the great desire of our life is the desire for God, whatever else distracts us on the way, and, finally, we give our lives in thanksgiving to the One Who has brought us this far and who is our final goal and our constant hope.

Sunday Lauds in the monastic liturgy is a soul-splitting commitment to go on. The point is that every life needs points along the way that enable us to rise above the petty daily problems, the overwhelming tragedies of our lives and begin again, whatever our circumstances, full of confidence, not because we know ourselves to be faithful, but because our God is.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home