the bond


157/366 - a leaving of petals

"At base,

the Rule asks two major things of us:

First, we are to be constant

at prayer.

We are to perform the work of God -

our commitment to the psalms and scripture -


wherever we are.

In the fields at the hour of prayer,

monastics were to

"kneel out of reverence for God"

rather than return to the monastery

to pray with the entire community.

Clearly, it is prayer itself that is the bond.

We are to make prayer

be the bond and constant source

of inspiration and purpose and glue

that holds us together,

the touchstone of everything

that has meaning to us.

We are to pray by ourselves,

if necessary, "as best we can,"

but in the way

the community, as community, is praying,

so that our hearts and minds

stay in the place

where our bodies cannot now be."

Joan Chittister - The Monastery of the Heart


I haven't quite figured Joan Chittister out yet, but this passage, copied in the same style found in the book, speaks about how Benedictine communities unite themselves around prayer and liturgy.   I can't help thinking this is a lovely way to approach online community as well, bound together by prayer and Scripture, no matter our differences of doctrine or approach.   Of course, it isn't simply prayer that binds us and strengthens us (and this is what I wish Chittister would be more explicit about throughout the book,) it is the One to Whom we pray - the One who brings all things together under His name.

Praying with you and for you today, friends, in Jesus' name.