"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.' So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2 15-20)
The Rule starts off with,
"Listen carefully, my child, to the master's instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart" (Prologue 1).
Benedict is asking us to be aware of God's presence in all things in a very special way. He advises us to employ our hearts. Does that sound familiar? Well, just go back to the passage from Luke: What did Mary do?
"But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart."
The Word of God proclaimed in the Gospel wants to find a home in our hearts. It wants to be treasured. It wants to be pondered. It wants to work in our hearts. In the Benedictine Way of Life, we practice Lectio Divina, the process of internalizing and savoring the Word. (If you are interested to learn more, there is a short article on Lectio Divina on our monastery website at http://osbva.org/html/Lectio%20Divina.html)
As we go along through the year with our Friday Reflections, we will learn more about attending to God's Word through the lens of Benedictine Spirituality.
May God bless our journey through 2014 and may we treasure God's Word in our hearts always!