Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 7 - Exquisite Care -The Divine Office

Of the dozens and even scores of monks or nuns in a house of religion, there must always be one who rises to the seat of watch care over the others. It almost certainly will not be one who entered monastic life intent upon leadership.

Any man or woman who aspires to leadership can find a far better opportunity elsewhere. Superiors in the monastery (just one to a house) are usually elected for life, and nuns are notorious long-livers. Of the many and varied reasons for accepting from God a call to cloistered life, management and leadership do not commonly figure among them, but a leader there must be. More to the point, someone must take responsibility. What does that responsibility require?

There are three categories that must be maintained, and each is dependent upon the other. Not one may lag behind for any appreciable space of time. They are

• The welfare of the Sisters
• The welfare of the House
• The Divine Office

Certainly the new postulant and the blossoming novices are taught that the Office is preeminent. The Sisters are there to bring praise and thanksgiving to God throughout the day, every day, to magnify Him and to pray for His people and those who have yet to know Him. In the hours between, they practice, they correct their course, they try and try again to remember Him always and forget Him never, to defer to His Presence and His kindness toward others.

Like the postal carrier who finishes his rounds despite snow and rain and heat and gloom of night, the Office must not fail. Someone must make sure that everyone continues in healthy, fervent, unfailing worship, for worship is the goal of the House, just as conversion of manners is the goal of the inhabitants.

There is one, just one, who holds the seat of responsibility in Cor Unum, only one who can and must make sure that we make a start and finish what we have begun, that our Father will be glorified in His Son through our lives and our worship. As with the Abbots and Abbesses and Mothers Superior worldwide who have the care of souls within their houses, in Cor Unum we must bow to the responsibility we have toward OUR OWN SOULS, to provoke worship and prayer, to see that they are sustained, and to assure the same outcome, that God will be magnified.

"Worship Continues"
photo by Kerry

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