Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Oblate letter

The latest Oblate letter from Pluscarden can be read here

This is our great strength as Benedictines: that however busy we may be with many things, we know that the purpose, the centre of our life is not them. Rather, it’s the non-utilitarian, gratuitous business of thanking, praising and blessing God for all his abundant goodness and mercies without end. So, according to the teaching of the Rule, we hold ourselves always ready to drop whatever we’re doing, in order to “prefer nothing to the work of God” (HR 43:1-3). If a monastic community truly keeps this in mind, and makes the divine service its chief work and first priority, then indeed the monastery will itself become a fruitful source of blessing, for its members and for very many others.

In the monastery, as throughout the whole Church, it’s in the liturgy above all that we express the dialogue of mutual blessing between God and ourselves. The Mass is our greatest act of blessing, and the place where God most fully communicates his blessing to us

It is so easy to get tunnel vision about what we do, however worthwhile, that we forget what is truly essential in life. The letter talks more about the centrality of Mass and the 'work of God' and looks at the recitation / singing of the Psalms.

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