Intent on what lies before me

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1015Santa Teresa La Sabatina.jpg

I really do love praying Matins in the pre-dawn darkness while, in their own way, the crickets, and cicadas, and birds sing their Nocturns outside. This morning, as I read the First Lesson from Philippians 3:7-12, the words were Paul's but the voice I heard was Teresa's:

Mastered by Christ

Not that I have already won the prize,
already reached fulfilment.
I only press on, in hope of winning the mastery,
as Christ Jesus has won the mastery over me.

With the Goal in View

No, brethren, I do not claim to have the mastery already,
but this at least I do;
forgetting what I have left behind,
intent on what lies before me,
I press on with the goal in view,
eager for the prize, God's heavenly summons in Christ Jesus.

The Same Mind, the Same Rule

All of us who are fully grounded must be of this mind,
and God will make it known to you,
if you are of a different mind at present.
Meanwhile, let us all be of the same mind,
all follow the same rule, according to the progress we have made.

Follow My Example

Be content, brethren, to follow my example,
and mark well those who live by the pattern we have given them;
I have told you often, and now I tell you again with tears,
that there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ's cross.
Perdition is the end that awaits them,
their own hungry bellies are the gods they worship,
their own shameful doings are their pride;
their minds are set on the things of earth;
whereas we find our true home in heaven.

Effective is His Power

It is to heaven that we look expectantly
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to save us;
he will form this humbled body of ours anew,
moulding it into the image of his glorified body,
so effective is his power to make all things obey him.

As if that were not enough, the Second Nocturn gave me the splendid Psalm 72. There again, the words were King David's, but the voice was that of "La Madre."

The Companionship of Christ

Thou art at my side, ever holdest me by my right hand.
Thine to lead me in a way of thy own choosing,
thine to take me up to thyself in glory.

What else does heaven hold for me, but thyself?
What crave I on earth but thy companionship?

This frame, this earthly being of mine must come to an end;
still God will be my heart's stronghold, eternally my inheritance.

Lost those others may be, who desert thy cause,
lost are all those who break their troth with thee;

I know no other content but clinging to God,
putting my trust in the Lord, my Master.

Thank you to Fray Javier de Santa Teresa, O.C.D. for the beautiful photo.


Quaesumus, miséricors Deus, ut quæ retro sunt
obliviscéntes : in simplicitáte cordis ac mentis
castitate cogitatiónes et afféctus nostros in te
semper stabilíre valeámus.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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