Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17 – Tweaking

So then, in order to live that we, with our Poor Clare sisters and Franciscan brothers, may be able to gaze upon the Lord, consider His worth, contemplate our lives in Him, and imitate His perfections forever, we set out to chart the course of our lives as the true monastics we are.

We chart the course of our lives by tweaking the order of our days, that each of us may have our own Divine Office in place.

What shall that “Office” include? We all know that there must be worship, gratitude, intercession, stillness and listening, obedience, hope, and fearlessness. So, we institute them all!

We make sure that we have ample time in the Word of God. We do topical studies and we do book studies . . . we vary our approach and we make sure that we come before the Lord each time we pick up our Bibles, that the Living Word will come alive in us.

Two daily opportunities to open the Word of God are better than one, and three are better than two. Let us, morning and evening at least, make sure that the Lord may speak to us, that we may hear and faith may come of our hearing . . . our hearing the Word of the Lord.

We pray as we read; our Bible study becomes as interactive as our prayer lives, and our prayer lives begin to consist of almost as much time listening as speaking. We worship in song, in proclamation, in the “quiet delight” of our hearts, set upon Jesus in His glory. As He is risen, and we with Him (Colossians 3:1 and 2), we explore the atmosphere of our heavenly habitation.

Gratitude paves the way for bigger things in this Kingdom; we incorporate gratitude into our devotional hours.

First, of course, is to choose a time that nearly cannot be stolen or adulterated. They needn't be hours long at first; isn't five minutes with God far better than nothing at all? Early morning works best for most of us, because the rest of the world is asleep, the phone doesn’t ring, and we can call that time our own, in most cases.

The Abbess recommends a second hour (even if it’s only ten minutes) before the Lord, ideally first thing home from work, or while the children are doing their lessons, or first thing after dinner, before the television goes on, or last thing at night, after it goes off. What works best for each is the best idea for all. Today’s objective is to find two or three pockets of time that can be guarded and kept, if only we will keep them, and for today, merely to present ourselves before the Lord, to study as usual or begin now to read and pray, to give thanks and to quiet our hearts . . . just “show up,” and rejoice to be where the Lord is.

We will look much more closely into the objectives and the practice of devotion but for now, let us be sure of this . . . the Father waits in secret, dear ones . . . let us find Him there, in the Cor Unum of our lives, this very day.

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