“And the Lord, seeking his workman among the multitudes to whom he thus crieth, saith again: ‘What man is he that desireth life and would fain see good days?’ (Psalm 33) And if hearing him thou answer, ‘I am he,’ God saith to thee: ‘If thou wilt have true and everlasting life, keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips that they speak no guile. Turn away from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it. (Ps. 33) And when you have done these things, my eyes will be upon you and my ears open unto your prayers. And before you call upon me, I shall say to you, ‘Lo, here I am.’ What can be sweeter to us, dearest brethren, than this voice of our Lord inviting us? Behold in his loving mercy the Lord showeth us the way of life.”
The Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue
Ash Wednesday. The sun rises this morning on hearts that are longing and searching. Yet who is searching for whom?
Benedict discovers in scripture a God who seeks, invites, and shows. The season of Lent is perhaps most of all a time to undertake practices to be better disposed to receive these divine advances.
Spring is a season for work of all kinds. Benedict says God is seeking among the multitudes for workers. But work is always about relationship. Isn’t God ultimately seeking relationship?
Perhaps the most important work of this season is to become better disposed: to be found, to answer the invitation, to be shown. What can be sweeter?
St. Benedict (480-543) is considered the father of western monasticism.