It was about 6:50 AM when I saw it through the kitchen window. I gasped and walked briskly to the oratory where Sister Mary was preparing her books. I decided to go "Trappist" and motioned for her to follow me. As we headed to the back of the house, Karen noticed the parade and followed with her coffee cup. I unlocked the back door which leads to a small deck. Out we went into the cold morning air to see the most breathtaking sunrise about to burst over the trees. It was cloudy blue and pink and orange - layers of pulsing color that heralded a the coming of a new day. I knew if we waited even 30 minutes, it would be long gone. Standing briefly with our arms wrapped around ourselves for warmth, we could no longer hold our morning silence. "Oh, my!" "Wow!" I smiled and then we quickly scooted back into our little oratory just in time for Morning Prayer. I was still thinking about that sunrise after the reading of the Holy Rule - so much so, that I forgot I was the prayer leader and we sat in silence a bit too long. It was so beautiful...surely Saint Benedict wouldn't mind a few "ooh's" and "ah's" before the liturgical release of our tongues. Maybe, I'm not giving my housemates good example. There are times, Benedict says, when even good words should be held in deference to silence. I don't know... We finally stood to worship the Trinity and sang the most perfect hymn for the feast of St. Andrew. We sat and opened our books to the proper page for the first psalm and there it was!
"The sky tells the glory of God,
tells the genius of God's work.
Day carries the the news to day,
night brings the message to night."
Psalm 19 goes on to extol the rhythm of night into day. It is really an ode to the wisdom of God's creation and a hint of the salvation to come in Christ, the Light. I couldn't believe it! I'm not an advocate of breaking morning silence. But I do know that Benedict's Rule is flexible is it is anything at all. God gave the world a gift in the pre-dawn light and we were blessed to receive it. All my second-guessing just pulls me from the simple joy of gratitude. The psalms are always a blessing to me. There are days, like this one, when I feel as if a message has been tucked inside a bottle - just for me. Thank you, God, for the message received.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki