Archive for March, 2013

Ora et Labora

Posted by admin On March - 7 - 2013

Our community has recently started a new practice at morning praise. On the last Friday of the month we have a declaration of gratitude ceremony. After the reading we each take turns coming to the lectern and telling the community something that we are grateful for that month. Sometimes we bring an object to represent the feeling.

This past month our guests were encouraged to participate in the ceremony. Helen, one of our oblates, is a Navy doctor who just returned from six months in Japan. She came to the front holding a rather large garden tool. She called it a bush hog and said that she was grateful for the opportunities she had at the monastery to work with her hands outside in the gardens. She had spent several hours that week digging up brambles and the bush hog was her favorite tool for doing that because it got right in to the roots.

Helen laid the bush hog on the floor in front of the lectern with the rest of our offerings and we finished prayer. Sitting quietly as the others left chapel, I noticed the bush hog was laying in front of the office book I had laid there opened to Psalm 51 which we had read just that morning. Psalm 51 is one of my favorites because it speaks of Gods great mercy when we acknowledge our sin and ask for forgiveness.

Gratitude Friday-Office with a bush hog

Ora et labora.  Prayer and work. Benedict says that both are important for us as we journey toward God as monastics. The psalms remind us of who God is, who we are and how that connection is strengthened through daily prayer-the bush hog that gets right to our roots.