Today is a reminder . . . we are “warping” our looms with strong strands of devotional commitment, which is another way of saying, “We will spend time with the Lord, daily, plenty of time, quality time!”
We probably haven't always, but we won’t be those who say, “The Lord understands how busy I am!” We won’t say, “He wants me to have some fun and take time for relaxation,” for none of that is the point for the Cor Unum monastic. What we do isn’t religion or duty, it is nothing that has been foist upon us. It doesn't surplant our fun or hinder our valid occupation. The fabric of our Cor Unum habits is woven of privilege and of our choice to order our days to allow us to spend time with God. This is a tapestry of time at His feet and time before His face, with the threads of daily life woven between. Our worship and prayer and study and stillness will be with Him, not just “for” Him.
If we have two fixed devotional hours daily, if we are headed toward four or even seven intervals of worship and prayer, or if we have just begun and find it hard to stay focused on Him even for a few minutes at a time, all that matters is that we know He meets us when we come. He walks with us when we leave. We seek to know Him, and we will abide in His Son. We make use of every opportunity.
So far we have looked into the monasic practice of Lectio Divina, of learning to read Scripture in His Presence, asking our questions and hearing His comfort and encouragements. We are practicing Benedictine “Conversatio,” addressing very small but lasting changes that we know need to be made, leaving off gossip or fretting, taking up a little daily exercise or praying 3-minutes prayers over one or two souls in great need.
Those who can do more, press on. Those who are beginning, rejoice to have made a start.
We have added the discipline of a “Spiritual Rx,” of reading a short passage of Scripture (Colossians 3:1-3, 1-14, or 1-17) three times daily, like a healing medicine. Here in Cor Unum we banish doubts that our little practices are not enough, or too legalistic, or too small to have real effect. We are true monastics, and we know that large grows from little, and strength and glory increase in the Presence of the Lord. We DO what we really can do, and we look for opportunity everywhere.
May God bless you this day in Cor Unum Abbey. It is good to find the Nearness of God. It’s even better to make that place our home.
Trappist monk in prayer
Daniel Tibi, by permission