We Begin Again Every Day ....by Sr. Paz
In the School of God's Service, Benedict learned a lesson in love from his sister, Scholastica
St. Benedict tells us in The Rule that we begin again each day. You may wonder what nuns and monks do in the monastery every day? St. Benedict answered this question many centuries ago: We fall and get up, fall and get up, always. This New Year is a gift, a new opportunity, to begin again, anew, to stand up again. With new hopes, new challenges, new opportunities, to begin again fresh.
A Benedictine Monastery is a school for God’s service where we begin again each day. We know that we are not a final product of God’s creation, but a child of God in the making. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One. We are in the process of becoming one with Jesus our big brother. A process that never ends.
Jesus exhorts us, follow me! Where is Jesus inviting us to go? Jesus is leading us to Easter, but not without passing through Mount Calvary first. I always forget this last part. I want to jump from Christmas to Easter and forget everything about the crucifixion. At St. Placid, most of the time I just want to focus in the quiet silence of Centering prayer, the great harmony when we sing the psalms at the Liturgy of the Hours, the synchronized recitation of the psalms at midday prayers, or even the energetic but contemplative time working in the garden, or the quiet listening with the spirit to another person’s spiritual journey when I am with someone in spiritual direction.
However, at the monastery, we also rub against each other every day, and like river rocks we polish our sharp edges and become meeker and humbler, accepting the will of God. And accepting that we are not final products, but we are children of God in the making. It is a great teaching to learn more about my limitations too. I love singing the psalms; however I don’t sing too well. I just try not to be noticed and not mess up when others sing, but I am not always successful. Thanks, God, for my sisters’ patience! I cannot speak English without a Spanish accent, and grammar is a pain both in Spanish and English. However, I have a strong passion for my new work in vocations. I love this work; I do my best and leave the result to the call of the Holy Spirit.
At the monastery, we are the students in the school of God’s service. Like St. Scholastica and St. Benedict, we have always a new lesson to learn, a new lesson to teach, no matter how long we have been living this life. Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? Most of the time, it is.