The First Words of the Day

The first words we say in the morning often set the tone for the day. Here in the monastery it is easy. We sing Vigils in English and the opening phrase of our Office is

O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise. To you be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia.

There in a nutshell you have a programme for the monastic day. We begin with recognition that everything comes from God. He gives us life and breath and the power of speech. He alone can ‘open our lips’ and ensure that we use them for good and for singing the praises of God in the Church and in Christ Jesus, in whom all prayer is made. But what if we don’t have such a beginning to the day? What if we tumble out of bed with a suppressed oath and are immediately plunged into all the demands of work and family — or at least, the demands of Facebook and Twitter? Might everything begin in a rather negative or distracted way?

We hear a great deal about the importance of the right breakfast. We hear much less about the right start to the day in other ways. It isn’t a deep or novel thought, but I sometimes wonder whether beginning the day with a blessing would put a smile on our faces and hearts, which would be as good for the health of society as wholegrains are for our guts.

Nuns on the Radio (again)
The wonderful Anna King is interviewing Digitalnun sometime between 12.15 and 12.45 on BBC Radio Gloucestershire today. If you’re interested, you can listen live online or use the iPlayer ‘Listen Again’ facility: