Saturday Morning Rituals

Many people seem to enjoy small Saturday morning rituals that mark the start of the week-end: a few extra minutes in bed, a special breakfast, perhaps a visit to the car-wash or a favourite coffee shop or pub, and so on. In a monastery, Saturday mornings tend to be like any other morning and are distinguished only by their liturgical status. We keep today, the memoria of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a ‘collect only’ memoria, which means the day is about as low-key as it is possible to get. It follows that the daily routine and its rituals are where we have to find not only purpose but also relaxation and renewal of energies. One such is our daily reading of the Rule of St Benedict. Today’s section, RB 7.62-70, on the twelfth step of humility, sums up not only what monastic life is about, but how we attain its purpose through the practice of various forms of humility. Crucially, it reminds us that it is not our doing at all, but that of the Holy Spirit. That frees us from any sense of personal achievement (Pelagianism be damned!) while at the same time encouraging us to try harder, that we may become what the Rule calls the Lord’s ‘worker, now cleansed from vice and sin’ (RB 7.70). Of course, how one views that sentence depends where one puts the emphasis, on the worker or the being cleansed. For me, on this particular Saturday morning, I’d like to hope it might be the being cleansed, readied for the great celebration of Sunday. And you? How many have going to confession built into your Saturday morning rituals, or shouldn’t I ask? It beats the car-wash any day! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Rituals

  1. Well, having gone away to Google land to ask what Pelagianism is, this Saturday is obviously a school day! But seriously, thank you for your thoughtful post.
    God bless you and give you strength to recover from the latest bout of chemo.

  2. This particular Saturday morning we are getting ready to drive down to Gatwick. I have organised a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, which is being led by the retired bishop of Exeter, a family friend. We fly out to orrow morning for seven full days (back Monday). I have signed up 22 people from all over England, most of whom I don’t know. Prayer would be welcomed, eapecially for my husband Mike, waiting for both post-prostatectomy (cancer) urethra surgery and a second hip replacement. Not sure how he is going to cope with all the walking. We are attending a Papal Audience next Wednesday.

  3. I rose even earlier than usual to say Vigils and Lauds before driving to Stanbrook Abbey for a joint study day on the local Cistercian Heritage with Mass beforehand and mid-day office before going to Rivaulx Abbey for a Pilgrimage which we finished with a Reading from the Rule and closing prayer in the Chapter House ruins. We were told that St Benedict had the School of the Lord’s Service whilst the Cistercians had St Bernard’s School of Love and some brief summaries of the teachings of three Cistercian Saints. One thought that hit home was that God makes us in His own image but then we camouflage ourselves with splashes of colour from our sin which we have to work on so that God’s image can come through again. It reminded me that when I was a scout in camp I was not particularly keen on washing in cold water. We made our way into town and people were looking at me. I looked in a car’s wing mirror and with horror a painted face which had been done whilst I was asleep. I had to rush to a public toilet to wash off my embarassment – rather like sin in fact!

    My usual day starts at the same early time with Vigils and Lauds every day even when I’m on holiday which , I hope, is the monastic way of life for an Oblate.

  4. Your devotion to discipline for the sake of our Lord never ceases to amaze me. God bless and care for you dear Sister Catherine and send you relief from #chemocosh. Peace and love be with you xx.

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