Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 20

This is the last chapter that deals with formal prayers. And while this chapter is short, I think it is a little profound what Saint Benedict writes for us to read. 

Chapter 20. Reverence in Prayer
  1. Whenever we want to ask some favor of a powerful man, we do it humbly and respectfully, for fear of presumption. 
  2. How much more important, then, to lay our petitions before the Lord God of all things with the utmost humility and sincere devotion. 
  3. We must know that God regards our purity of heart and tears of compunction, not our many words. 
  4. Prayer should therefore be short and pure, unless perhaps it is prolonged under the inspiration of divine grace. 
  5. In community, however, prayer should always be brief; and when the superior gives the signal, all should rise together.
Obviously, God should be approached with humility and devotion (and fear and trembling) - He is the most powerful being. So, we approach God like we would a king, or a great ruler. And while this is obvious to us as we read these words does this remain obvious to us when we actually approach God in prayer? I think that is one of the very important reasons to have a formal prayer rule - so we can learn to always approach God in the proper manner when we pray to Him.
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