February 19, June 20, October 20
Chapter 16: How the Work of God Is to Be Performed During the Day
"Seven times in the day," says the Prophet,
"I have rendered praise to You" (Ps. 118:164).
Now that sacred number of seven will be fulfilled by us
if we perform the Offices of our service
at the time of the Morning Office,
of Prime, of Terce, of Sext, of None,
of Vespers and of Compline,
since it was of these day Hours that he said,
"Seven times in the day I have rendered praise to You."
For as to the Night Office the same Prophet says,
"In the middle of the night I arose to glorify You" (Ps. 118:62).
Let us therefore bring our tribute of praise to our Creator
"for the judgments of His justice" (Ps. 118:164)
at these times:
the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext, None,
Vespers and Compline;
and in the night let us arise to glorify Him.
Tucked neatly into all this business of naming and counting the Hours
of the Divine Office
comes the actual reason we go to choir or say thew Office alone. It
is "our tribute of praise to our Creator 'for the judgments of His
OK, tribute, praise, glorify, all those things are familiar enough to
us, but the zinger here is "for the judgments of His justice."
Whoops! A lot fall out on that one! Whether we realize it or not, the
reason we praise God as Benedictine is to thank Him for ALL His
decisions in regard to us. That isn't easy, but it is terribly valid
and terribly necessary.
We thank God- admittedly sometimes with gritted teeth- for all the
things that did and DIDN'T work out the way we wanted them, for every
acceptance and every rejection that brought us to be as we find
ourselves today, in His arms. The jobs we didn't get, the great loves
which were not reciprocal, the course we flunked, the kids that went
wrong, the illness that dogs us, the spouse we should never have gone
out with twice, the unwanted pregnancy, the miscarriage, EVERYTHING
that has shaped our lives and persons is something we thank God for
in the Office.
I mention only the difficult things, because anybody can be thankful
that the apparently GOOD stuff worked out. Nor am I saying all the
bad stuff is God's fault, or that it's our own fault, but ALL of it
is turned to GOOD by God, and that is worth singing about! All of it!
If we look back honestly, we can see the hand of His goodness in the
darkest times, we can see it in NOT having our way, we can see it in
Since the way God turns all to good is a mystery we shall never know
fully in this life, we cannot adequately say much of anything but
thanks and praise, the stammered joy of someone who has received a
really great gift and is astounded at such generosity. Thanks, God.
And hey, You really DID know what You were doing all along, didn't
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery