Wednesday, April 4, 2012
April 4 - The Office of Lauds
Our Lenten season of fasting and focus is drawing to a close. Those world-changing days in the calendar of Jesus’ life are drawing near.
Imagine what it would be to know that before the week was out you would be surrendering your life, bearing the sins of everyone you knew, and completely without their gratitude or their understanding? Our Jesus did this for those he knew and those whom he had never met and those who would live many centuries later. You and me and those we love, to be precise.
Gratitude has saved lives from ruin; it has saved lives from despair and suicide and bitterness and regret. Oh, to live in the unfailing gratitude of the love and the sacrifice of God! The Son obeyed; the Father gave!
Our thanksgiving is so much more profound than for the beauty and the bounty of this life alone! We live! and we will live again! This all-too-feeble flesh will not abide in gratitude, but we are the abbots and abbesses here. Our Will and strength are consecrated under the direction of the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. As we teach our children to make their beds and brush their teeth every day, we instruct our own souls and our mind and flesh must follow … we will worship and praise our God, and we will give thanks with a grateful heart, for we are a people redeemed!
Out of the kingdom of darkness and death, we have come into the glorious light of God! We begin to be a people that could more easily go a day without our meals than to fail to drink deeply of the nearness of our God.
We will spend time together looking into the wonders of prayer and the delights of the “Lectio Divina,” but in this season we have brought our hearts and lives before the Lord, before His throne, to honor Him … to worship Him! We have found those pockets of time that are HIS and meant to be, and now we consecrate them, we seek open-ended opportunities to turn three minutes into more, all that the Lord will give, and to have, here in this monastery, an office of “Lauds,” of praise, that belongs to the God to Whom we belong. We are the monastics of this Abbey, and we will “sing and make melody in our hearts.” Monastic life survives to this day – here in Cor Unum, the heart’s cloister.