Rule of St. Benedict: Prologue, January 1, 2017

January 1, May 2, September 1
Prologue

L I S T E N carefully, my child,
to your master’s precepts,
and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20).
Receive willingly and carry out effectively
your loving father’s advice,
that by the labor of obedience
you may return to Him
from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.

To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,
whoever you may be,
who are renouncing your own will
to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King,
and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.

And first of all,
whatever good work you begin to do,
beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it,
that He who has now deigned to count us among His children
may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds.
For we must always so serve Him
with the good things He has given us,
that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children,
nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions,
deliver us to everlasting punishment
as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.

 

Some thoughts;
 
What a way to start off the New Year but with the joyful loving language of the Prologue to the Rule of St Benedict! People everywhere are making their resolutions based on their perceptions of their needs and wants. Is God a part of that process?
 
Could there be a better New Year’s resolution than to “see Him more clearly, follow Him more nearly, love Him more dearly, day by day”? Not to my mind.
 
What do you think? As you read these words written 1500 or so years ago, does your heart leap up and cry out “Yes! Take me!” ?
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