Liturgical Prayer

The power to uplift

Liturgy has the power to uplift, as was experienced recently by all involved when the annual Oblate Commitment Ceremony, a part of Evening Praise, was broadcast to our oblates near and far via Zoom. Anticipation filled the monastery dining and community room as we awaited the ringing of our monastery bells to animate the call to prayer. I can only imagine how exciting and comforting it must have been for our oblates to hear those bells once again, months and months after the coronavirus-imposed closure to guests and visitors began.

Liturgy is also a powerful component of the school of God’s service that is Benedictine life; in particular, how it promotes and pokes and prods us to honor our vow of conversatio morum. Daily reading, listening, and reflecting on Scripture and the Rule of Benedict can be very humbling at 6:30 in the morning.

For five months now we have been working our way through the Book of Proverbs. A few verses at a time, we are reminded how to live out our part in God’s plan for salvation. Along the way we heard that “In a flood of words, you will not avoid sin” and that “The tongue holds the key to life and death”. Some weeks later Benedict quoted both of those verses back to us during the reading of his chapter titled Restraint of Speech. Even with all that advice I failed miserably one day, using words to inflict hurt upon another who was already hurting.

The schooling continues.

I must run, for I hear our bell ringing.

Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God – Rule of Benedict 43:3

Proverbs 10:19
Proverbs 18:21
Rule of Benedict 6:4-5