Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve


Just like your families, monasteries have traditions.  One such tradition here at Saint Benedict's is that December 31 is a day of recollection.  We spend the day in silence. We can choose to give ourselves an extended time for Lectio or to reflect on the "conference" that our Prioress, Sister Michaela gives us after Morning Prayer.  It also happens that on this day we listen to the last chapter of the Rule of Benedict read to us just before Morning Prayer.  Tomorrow, January 1, we will begin the reading of the Rule from the beginning.
This morning as we listened to Chapter 73, it struck me, probably because it is the last day of the year, that Benedict is telling us that just because we have arrived at the end of his Rule that we are accomplised monastics and there is nothing left to strive for.  In fact, he tells us quite the opposite. There is much we can do beyond reading "this little rule for beginners"; Benedict gives us a reading list that we can use as a tool to guide us on our way to Christ. By the way, and in case you are wondering, the Rule of Benedict is not only for monastics who live in monasteries, but the beauty of the Rule is that it can be adapted to anyone's life.
As we begin 2013 tomorrow, today may be the end of one year but it is only a pause as we refresh ourselves and prepare to continue on our sacred journey with each other.
We wish you and your loved ones a very blessed new year and we assure you of our prayers, especially for those who have a special need at this time.
(The photo was taken by Nancy Bauer, OSB on Christmas Eve 2012 as the schola stood around the altar singing  "Hodie Christus Natus Est - Today Christ is born for us".)

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