Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Commencement of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship Him (Mt 2:2)

Saints: Saint Margaret of Hungary, OP (1242-1270)

Readings of the Day

Rule of Saint Benedict: Ch 4:1-21 The Tools for Good Works

Mass: 1 Sm 16:1-13; Resp Ps 89; Mk 2:23-28

To God, the Rock, my savior.

(1 Sm 16:7)

Sadly, I have not commented on the Rule of Saint Benedict lately, since we began the Prologue, and that was at the first of the year. We've moved on to Chapter 4 now, The Tools for Good Works. It's a winner, and alone will keep anyone busy for a lifetime. 

Like yesterday, there are days when things just work out. Chapter 4 begins with Saint Benedict giving us the foundational tool for good for works. First of all, our holy father quotes from the Gospels and writes, love the Lord God with your whole heart, your whole soul and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (RB 4:1). Saint Benedict too echoes the words spoken by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy, which happens to be the first reading in today's Office of Readings. As I say, some days things just work out. We hear what Moses spoke to the people, saying: "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Dt 6:4-5). It is no wonder Saint Benedict gives this as our first tool for good works, and adds that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. As Moses continues, "Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates" (Dt 6:6-9). We should follow suit, should we not, and take these words to heart. We are certainly going to need them in order to use the other tools for good works, for example, "you are not to bear false witness, honor everyone, never do to another what you do not want done to yourself, renounce yourself in order to follow Christ ... discipline your body, do not pamper yourself ... visit the sick, bury the dead" (RB 4:7-12, 16-17). United in faith and prayer, then, let's get busy. After all, our way of acting should be different from the world's way; the love of Christ must come before all else (RB 4:20-21).

Let the man truly possessed by the love of Christ keep His commandments. Who can express the binding power of divine love? Who can find words for the splendor of its beauty? Beyond all description are the heights to which it lifts us. Love unites us to God; it cancels innumerable sins, has no limits to its endurance, bears everything patiently ...
Happy are we, beloved, if love enables us to live in harmony and in the observance of God's commandments, for then it will also gain for us the remission of our sins ... This is the blessing given those whom God has chosen through Jesus Christ our Lord. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(From a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement I, pope, in Office of Readings, Second Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday)


NB. During this week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we will invoke Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu (d. 1939), a Cistercian nun of our Order, who offered her life to the cause of Christian unity. Before her death, she prayed, "Lord Jesus, I love you, and I would like to love you very much, to love you for the whole world." I have had the privilege of visiting her shrine at the Cistercian monastery at Vitorchiano in Italy.

Today's photo: We are back at Yosemite National Park, here a look Yosemite Falls.

© Gertrude Feick 2022

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