Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3 – Alternate Route

Now, we have set aside time that belongs to the Lord. We are making sure that He doesn’t go days on end without hearing our voices or seeing our faces before His throne. (We remember, and it matters to us that He said, in the Song of Songs . . . “My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14) For some of us, the lighted candle and the 15 . . . 30 . . . 60 minutes of quiet time doesn’t work or doesn’t appeal. So, we use a different approach.

We put in a load of laundry . . . and spend awhile in worship. We take the trash out to the curb . . . and pray for our families. We have breakfast . . . and read a chapter in the Gospels. If we cannot spend uninterrupted time in solitude, we spend our morning “prep” time returning to the Lord until we have incorporated the aspects of devotion that matter most.

The Abbess recommends practice in the practical art of stillness and undisturbed devotion, because it’s healthy for our souls. Because, too, it is good to give honor to the Lord when and where we can in our devotional lives, to not have to put Him on hold like we must do with so many things, and like so many aspects of life will do to us!
Nevertheless, if we start our day with worship and prayer and the Word of God woven into our mornings, even if not set aside and “monastic,” we will forestall a great deal of unraveling day by day. God-ness will become the warp and woof of our days, even if our Divine Office is sublimely fitted to our circumstances and our weaknesses rather than the Abbatial model, and the more we turn and return to Him, the more we will find our satisfaction in His nearness.

And that, after all, is the Abbatial goal.

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