Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 19

This next chapter is back to being short again. After this chapter, we have one more that deals with prayers and things, then things go more into life and governance of the monastery. This chapter talks about the discipline of Psalmody.

Chapter 19. The Discipline of Psalmody
  1. We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that in every place the eyes of the Lord are watching the good and the wicked (Prov 15:3) 
  2. But beyond the least doubt we should believe this to be especially true when we celebrate the divine office. 
  3. We must always remember, therefore, what the Prophet says: Serve the Lord with fear (Ps 2:11), 
  4. and again, Sing praise wisely (Ps 46 [47]:8); 
  5. and, In the presence of the angels I will sing to you (Ps 137 [138]:1). 
  6. Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, 
  7. and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.
So we see that God (the divine presence) is everywhere, and that He is watching us. For this reason, we should serve the Lord with fear, especially during times of prayer. It is good for us to remember that God is ever watchful and that what we do should be pleasing to Him; please don't think of this as an angry sky wizard who will smite us for doing wrong, but more of a loving parent who wants us to do right. If we were only able to get into Heaven by being perfect then the place would be quite sparse.
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