Thursday, July 11, 2013
The Balance of St. Benedict:"Ora et Labora"-Pray and Work. By:C.C.
"Ora et Labora" can often be perceived by the Western world as an ancient ideology rather than an essential balance needed for our "modern times". We can often be most victim to a motto of "work, work, work," and view the idea of having a prayer life to be another job. Prayer, by it's nature should lead us into further union with our Lord where we can attain peace and the means to properly accomplish our tasks according to the will of God.
It is disordered to consume ourselves solely in work and can result in hindering our time with God, and also damage the relationships with those around us. By being a slave to time and deadlines we are often led tumbling downward becoming most overwhelmed. We create a god out of work and the fruits of this "devotion" are not able to sustain us or satisfy our needs. The often ignorant idea of what obedience to God entails or may ask of our lives can keep us prisoner to the world and unable to attain what we are truly striving for. It keeps us slaves to something that does not provide for what we truly need.
Obedience to God is the beginning of freedom and fulfillment. It is something Saint Benedict understood well, lived well, and articulated in his writings. By embracing these teachings we can live a balanced life of prayer and work so that we are not slaves to our tasks, or victims of empty and burdensome rushed prayers.
In giving God our time, we give God credit for the time given to us by Him. One may find themselves accomplishing all work in a spirit of peace, purpose, and joy. One may also see that work can be a form of prayer. It is by giving ourselves to God that so much more is truly given to us. We can find in this offering of ourselves seemingly more time and a Divine helping hand to aid us in our work. Creating the balance between prayer and work begins with prayer. Let us pray to have peace and balance in our lives and to continually turn to our Lord throughout the moments of our day seeking His will in all tasks. (C.C)