A new beginning…

For some months now, I have been attending online community meetings with the House of Initia Nova – a Benedictine Community. Through my link with this community, I continue to endeavour to put some of the spirit of the Rule of our holy father Benedict into daily life. Each day, like the whole of the Benedictine order, I read a portion of the Rule of St Benedict, and I say at least one of the offices of the Divine Office, and read from holy Scripture. Myself, I have been saying bits of the Divine Office for many years. Occasionally, I will change from which version, but the principle is the same.

This week, our community gathers for its biannual convocation. Of course, due to the global pandemic, we gather separately via Zoom. We are fortunate that this medium is available to us. Quite what OHF Benedict would have made of it is unclear, but his sons and daughters use it to keep in touch one with another and to pray and praise Almighty God together.

Today as three members are received as postulants for vowed life and one received as a novice conversa, I am sure that all other members and associates of the community will take the opportunity to renew their own commitment to follow the Rule.

Today in the Irish Church is the Feast Day of St Malachy of Down and of Armagh. Under St Malachy, the Church was reorganised and the system of dioceses as we know them today was created. He also re-formed the Abbey of Down under the Benedictine Order and it seems a good day for the reception of an Irish priest as a postulant in the House of Initia Nova.

God, 

you called Malachy to be a re-builder 

and restorer of the Irish Church: 

Look upon your Church in this land today,

correct what is amiss and supply what is lacking;

that we may more and more bring forth fruit to your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Among the Cloud of Irish Witnesses, http://www.oremus.org/liturgy/ireland/witness/q4.html

As with every fresh new day, it is good to renew afresh our commitments to follow in the steps of OHF Benedict and of all his sons and daughters down the ages. We all renew our baptismal commitments with God’s help to

  • continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers;
  • persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and turn to the Lord;
  • proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ;
  • seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourself; and
  • strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

I know I fail at this, but by recognising our faults and acknowledging them, we will become better people and more faithful in our service to God.

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