One Minute Reflection – 21 March – Monday of the Third Week of Lent – 4 Kings, 5:1-15, Luke 4:23-30 and the Memorial of St Benedict OSB (c 480-547)
“There were many widows in Israel” – Luke 4:25
REFLECTION – “My wretched soul is naked and cold and benumbed, it longs to warm itself at the fIre of Your love… Out of my wide wilderness and the great emptiness of my heart, I have collected only these few tiny twigs like the widow of Sarepta; so that,, when I do come to the tabernacle of my house, I may have a handful of flour and a vessel of oil to eat before I die (1Kgs 17,10f.). Or maybe, Lord, I shall not die as quickly as all that! It may be rather that “I shall not die at al, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (Ps 117,17).
So I stand in the house of solitude… I open my mouth in Your direction, Lord; I breathe in the Spirit. And sometimes, Lord,… You do put something in my heart’s mouth but You do not permit me to know just what it is. A savour I perceive, so sweet, so gracious, and so comforting that… I should seek nothing more. But when I receive this thing, neither by bodily sight, nor by spiritual sense, nor by understanding of the mind, do You allow me to discern what it is. When I receive it, then I want to keep it, and think about it and assess its flavour but forthwith, it has gone… But every time this happens I hear the Lord say to me: “The Spirit blows whither he will. ” And I know, even in myself, that He breathes not, when I will but when He Himself wills…
I know that it is to You alone, O Fount of Life, that I must lift up my eyes, that “in your light I may see light” (Ps 35:10). Towards You, then, Lord, are all things turned… But in the meantime, Lord, how much longer are You going to put me off? How often must my wretched, harassed, gasping soul trail after You? “Hide me,” I beseech you, “in the secret place of Your Face away from the troubles of men, protect me in Your tabernacle from the strife of congues!” (Ps 30,21).” – William of Saint-Thierry (c 1085-1148) Cistercian Monk, Theologian (The Contemplation of God 12).
PRAYER – O Lord, we beseech You, in Your mercy, pour forth Your grace into our hearts, that, as we abstain from material food, so may we restrain our senses from sin. May the intercession of the blessed Abbot Benedict, commend us to You, O Lord, so that through his merits we may obtain that which we cannot accomplish by our own. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).