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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