The 'Opus Dei' of a Monk

The 'Opus Dei' of a Monk

Abbot Emeritus Thomas Davis Shares on the following passage of the Rule and what it means for those whose life is dedicated to the liturgical prayer of the Church:  “Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves in sight of God and of His Holy Angels, and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way that our mind may be in harmony with our voices.” (RB 19):

January was one of my milestones; it marked 68 yrs. of monastic life. A major, essential element during these many years has been a dedication to our communal prayer, when we come together in Church, seven times daily, to chant the praises of God. St. Benedict calls it the Opus Dei – God’s Work. The Catholic Church calls it ‘liturgical prayer.’

Our Cistercian patrimony envisages us monks as bonded together here in the monastery while simultaneously belonging to God’s community in heaven. We are truly members of this heavenly household of God with the souls there, including saints, prophets and angels. Reverencing the Opus Dei helps me appreciate bonding with my brothers and, at the same time, to “behold” this bonding as a partial realization in full anticipation of heavenly joy and happiness to come. I see living our daily routine with its stability, fidelity to monastic life and obedience as the way we ascend into the mystery of the Triune God.

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