Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 16: How the Work of God Is to Be Performed During the Day, October 20, 1016

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.

Some thoughts
Prayer punctuates the Benedictine day. There is a rhythm I love. Prayer, work, prayer, meal, prayer, study, prayer, sleep, prayer.

It’s as if prayer brackets the other activities and makes them an offering to the Lord.
In addition to the Prayerbook, I use the Jesus Prayer frequently: Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Walking across parking lots, standing in line at the market or Post Office, waiting for the traffic light to change. Anytime I am waiting, I try to remember to pray the Jesus Prayer. For one thing, it can take my mind off of seemingly interminable stop lights. For another, it is a reminder of Whom it is that I love and to Whom I have given my life.

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