— BENEDICERE —
We are privileged to bless God because He has first blessed us.
Through listening to His word, celebrating it, studying it and keeping it in our hearts,
we participate in the ministry of the Word.
Lectio Divina (“Sacred Reading”) is ordained to a real dialogue with God, for “we speak to God when we pray, we hear him when we read the divine sayings” (St. Ambrose).
Christ is the Word of God. We hear him in the Sacred Scriptures; everything in them proclaims Christ. We hear him in the voice of the Church, which speaks to us of him in the sacraments of faith, in the teaching of our shepherds, in the example of the saints. We hear him when the world and our brothers and sisters cry out for our love. For there is one Spirit of Christ who intimately attunes our inward ear to his inspirations.
Following the example of St. Dominic, who always carried about with him the gospel of Matthew and the epistles of Paul and almost knew them by heart, the nuns are to, above all, keep the Sacred Scriptures at hand. We ponder them deeply so that like our blessed Father Dominic, we may pass easily from reading to prayer, from prayer to meditation, and from meditation to contemplation.
By shunning the cares and illusions of the world, we allow the seed which is the word of God to grow in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit; in so receiving it, we are interiorly renewed and more closely conformed to Christ.
Our blessed Father Dominic recommended some form of study to the first nuns of the Order as an authentic observance of the Order. It not only nourishes contemplation, but also removes impediments in spiritual growth which arise through ignorance and it informs practical judgment. The methodical study of sacred truth, according to the capacity of the individual is a fruitful preparation for prayer and an aid to human maturity.
The light and source of our study is God, who spoke in the past in many and varied ways, and in these last days speaks to us in Christ through whom the mystery of the Father’s will is fully revealed in the Church by the sending of the Holy Spirit and all minds are enlightened. Our study is focused particularly on Sacred Scriptures, but also includes liturgy, the mystical teaching of the Church fathers and other theologians, in particular those of the Order, of whom Saint Thomas Aquinas writings are held in particular high esteem.