157/366 - a leaving of petals
the Rule asks two major things of us:
First, we are to be constant
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.