Saturday, January 1, 2011
January 1 – “Be It Hereby Resolved . . .”
Here is food for thought on this 1/1/11 day . . . do monastics make resolutions?
Let’s consider. There must be very little need for dietary resolutions when all your meals arrive at prescribed times, consist of healthy foods with limited fats and sugars, last only long enough to allow you to clean your plate, with no opportunity or availability for snacking.
What about industry and procrastination? Where is the difficulty? Everyone appears at regulated times for work and worship. Monks and nuns learn early to answer the call of the bells that sound throughout the day and night, every day, one lifetime following another. The option is only to remain and abide or leave the cloister and pursue another vocation; inside the walls, ora et labora, prayer and work, are constant.
A nun may might determine to “read more” in her precious free time or a monastic brother might decide to take up whittling, but even those considerations are subject to the wise counsel of the Abbess or Abbot in traditional houses. For the “house” itself, resolve is built into the Divine Office to which it subscribes, as surely as bricks are built into its walls. The day and the life of the monastic is predetermined forever; her resolution is to belong to it as long as she lives.
There is, however, for them and for us, room for holy summing up and sanctified newness when the New Year is ushered into the Abbey. They may, and we may, choose JOY in our abiding, and JOY will keep us in our cloistered lives. JOY will make others feels sublimely welcome there and strengthen all our resolve to abide in worship, for the JOY of the Lord is our strength. We will REJOICE to see His life will become more fully our own, for we dwell in Cor Unum as in His Kingdom, in righteousness, peace, and JOY forevermore