Living the Zeal of Benedict

a blog by Sister Marilyn Schauble, OSB

First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to God must earnestly to bring it to perfection. Prologue 4

Prayer is first for Benedict. He believed and taught that everything is graced by God, filled with sacred presence. Any "good work" will flourish with a mindfulness of God's gift of grace upholding it. So first of all - PRAY!

Listen carefully to my instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.
Rule of Benedict - Prologue 1

The very first word of the Rule, LISTEN,
provides us with Benedict’s essential and underlying theme.

For Benedict listening is found in the practical, in the daily.

We listen for God in the Psalmody and readings;
we listen for God in Lectio Divina and silence;
we listen for God in our hearts;
we listen for God in others.

Benedict encourages us to listen deeply with the ear of our hearts.

May we be challenged to listen for the many ways that God speaks to us!

When I hear bread breaking I see something else.
It seems almost as though God never meant us to do anything else.
So beautiful the sound,
the crust breaks up like manna
and falls all over everything and then we eat.

Bread gets inside humans.
It turns into what experts call the "formal glory of God".

Sometime in your life,
hope you might see one starved person,
the look on that face when the bread finally arrives.
Hope you might have baked it
or bought it
or even kneaded it yourself ...
for that look on that face
for you hands meeting those hand across a piece of bread
you might be willing to lose a lot
or suffer a lot ...
or die a little, even.

Daniel Berrigan (1921-2016)

There is a certain attractiveness
to the mystery of God.
It suggests a depth of being
that no ones mind can reach,
an elusive beauty
that largely escapes our clutch.

There is something to revel in
rather that to apologize for
because, paradoxically,
by its very silence,
the mystery of God
communicates something valid.

A deep shadow can be cast
only by a strong light.
God remains untamed by our logic,
unpackaged by our rhetoric.
The full dimensions of God
must remain forever
inconceivable to us,
unguessed at by us.

Msgr. James Turro
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ
(Reflections ... A path to prayer)

I, the highest and fiery power,
have kindled every living spark.
A flame above the beauty of the fields.
I shine in the waters.
In the sun and moon and the stars, I burn.
And by means of the airy wind
I stir everything into quickness,
with a certain invisible life which sustains all things.
I, the fiery power, lie hidden in these things
and they blaze for me.

Hildegard of Bingen - 12th c Mystic