Living the Zeal of Benedict

a blog by Sister Marilyn Schauble, OSB

Blessings on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Enjoy this brief recording of the sisters singing
HAIL MARY by Mary David Callahan, OSB.

Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice,
here by a smiling look,
there by a kindly word;
always doing the smallest right
and doing it all for love.

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart;
it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trial and joy.

These, then, are the tools of the spiritual craft. When we have used them without ceasing day and night and have returned them on the day of judgment our wages will be the reward God has promised: "What the eye has not seen nor the ear heard, God has prepared for those who love (1 Cor. 2:9)." The workshop where we are to toil faithfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery and stability in the community. RB 4: 75-78

Stability is
+ fundamental for Benedict
+ a call and a gift
+ a spiritual attitude which makes possible the perseverance of living a good life
+ a way of life in which one will engage in good works in a spirit of truthfulness and self-honesty
+ motivated by a sincere, gentle, and self-forgetful love

Never lose hope in God's mercy. RB 4:74

I suspect there are very few of us who could say we have accomplished all 74 "tools" in this chapter. Most of us are more aware of how much we individually need to do to really live with the Gospel and the Rule as our guide. We cannot do this on our own. We rely on God's grace, and where we have failed we rely on God's mercy and forgiveness. When all is said and done, we can only hope that the choices we make and the way we live our lives might be a sign to others of God's grace, mercy and forgiveness.

O burning mountain, O chosen sun.
O perfect moon, O fathomless well.
O unattainable height, O unattainable light.
O clearness beyond all measure.
O wisdom, without end, O mercy without limit.
O strength beyond resistance, O crown of all majesty.
The humblest thing you created sings your praise. AMEN!
(Mechtild of Magdeburg)

The heavens proclaim
- This is my Beloved, my Chosen One.
Listen to him.