Now that I’ve got the real title I wanted for this blog, imagine my surprise to learn that Prayer and Work (Ora et Labora) is not the actual Benedictine motto! For more on that, see the in-depth article by Terrence Kargdong, OSB, a monk of Assumption Abbey, North Dakota and scholar of the Rule of Benedict.
I think I’ll stick with the title since it helps me frame the purpose of the blog: use photography as contemplative practice and discover part of the story of my monastic community, of God at work here, in us and in our prayer. For me, this is one way to do lectio divina.
It happened, when I was teaching in our high school, that the kids decided we needed a new school song and small group got together to write one. One verse of the lyrics ran: Work and pray, traditions of our school, founded on the Benedictine Rule… At pep rallies and assemblies, I noticed that many students were singing, Work and play, traditions of our school… This tickled me because, play, in its purest form, certainly is a great way to give thanks and praise; just witness Sophia at play, delighting God all the while. (Proverbs 8: 30-31)