Posted by: Catholic of Thule | March 17, 2011

That we may be unto the praise of His glory.

Chris was supremely content that he had done right in asking for profession. It appeared to him that he had found a life that was above all others worthy of an immortal soul. The whole day’s routine was directed to one end, the performance of the Opus Dei, the uttering of praises to Him who had made and was sustaining and would receive again all things to Himself.

They rose at midnight for the night-office that the sleeping world might not be wholly dumb to God; went to rest again; rose once more with the world, and set about a yet sublimer worship. A stream of sacrifice poured up to the Throne through the mellow summer morning, or the cold winter darkness and gloom, from altar after altar in the great church. Christopher remembered pleasantly a morning soon after the beginning of his novitiate when he had been in the church as a set of priests came in and began mass simultaneously; the mystical fancy suggested itself as the hum of voices began that he was in a garden, warm and bright with grace, and that bees were about him making honey – that fragrant sweetness of which it had been said long ago that God should eat -and as the tinkle of the Elevation sounded out here and there, it seemed to him as a signal that the mysterious confection was done, and that every altar sprang into perfume from those silver vessels set with jewel and crystal.

Robert Hugh Benson, The King’s Achievement.

Obviously pertaining primarily and directly to the beauty of the religious life, I also find this inspiring for me as a laywoman. It is inspiring both in terms of how we may take part in the great Opus Dei by taking part in the liturgy of the Church, above all the Mass when able but also in our own homes in praying the Divine Office. One thing that has struck me especially is the praises repeated so often especially in the two more traditional versions I use: the Benedictine Monastic Diurnal and The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It helps bring a greater focus of praise and thanksgiving into my life. It gives me an extra and invaluable aid in my attempts to offer my days to God. I think most of us need the aids available to us for this purpose.  And equally important is of course this further taking part in this great Opus Dei as laypeople in our every action to the extent we are able to work with grace to do them in and for God, both in our other prayers, in our work, in our leisure and in everything we do. Religious houses are (or at least should be) the power houses. However, we who are outside them are not excused from taking part in the same Opus Dei in a manner according with our own situations.

Anyhow, just thought I’d share a passage that I find beautiful and inspiring. It goes on to describe the Opus Dei in the monastic day, but I didn’t want to make the quotation too long.

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