The Presence of God
September 12, 2015 | Monastic MusingsReflections from some of the nuns
The beginning of Chapter 4 of the Rule of St Benedict, entitled Tools for Good Works, begins with: ‘Firstly, love the Lord God with your whole heart, your whole soul, and all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself’. I am always very relieved that St Benedict first places before my eyes the primary focus of our life – to love the Lord God above all.
The Rule also tells us that ‘we believe the presence of God is every where’. This is the context in which we can begin to live the second part of that great commandment – to love others as self. Note that it does not say, as much as yourself, or like yourself, but as yourself.
Here is a simple key, which can open the way to living the great hospitality at the heart of this injunction. That is, if God/Christ is everywhere present, then there is no where that God is absent. Neither is there any when where God is absent. It is all inclusive and it is never exclusive. There is no us and them, in and out. God is in all and God is through all. If it is in God that we live and move and have our being – then that means every one, there are no exceptions.
Practicing the charism of hospitality is a means by which we can become safe enough, welcome enough to be open to the presence of God in all the moments of our life and in all the people who we daily encounter.
Sr Magdalen Mather osb