Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 20: On Reverence in Prayer, February 26, 2017

February 26, June 27, October 27
Chapter 20: On Reverence in Prayer

When we wish to suggest our wants to persons of high station,
we do not presume to do so
except with humility and reverence.
How much the more, then,
are complete humility and pure devotion necessary
in supplication of the Lord who is God of the universe!
And let us be assured
that it is not in saying a great deal that we shall be heard (Matt 6:7),
but in purity of heart and in tears of compunction.
Our prayer, therefore, ought to be short and pure,
unless it happens to be prolonged
by an inspiration of divine grace.
In community, however, let prayer be very short,
and when the Superior gives the signal let all rise together.

 

Some thoughts:
 
Reverence is an odd word for us today, I think. How many times have we heard someone make fun of someone else’s reverence? I suspect that for those who do this, do it because they are embarrassed. Perhaps they feel guilty that they themselves do not show reverence. Who knows?
 
Perhaps the idea of “persons of high station” is one that is foreign to some of us. I know it is to me. What comparisons might we have for our society today?
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