There are two beautiful passages from scripture that are particularly appropriate for a contemplative monastery like the one I have the joy of being assigned to. In the one passage, the prophet Isaiah says, “My house shall be called a house of prayer. . .” Our Lord cites that passage when he drives the merchants and money-changers out of the temple. And we can certainly try to make of our own homes, our minds, our hearts, our religious communities “houses of prayer.” That is especially true of contemplative communities whose entire function within the Church is to pray and give God the glory of prayer for the good of the entire Church. Think of how Our Lady felt during those months of her pregnancy as she felt the divine child stirring and developing within her—the child whom she had conceived by the overshadowing o the Spirit of God. In a most special way, she was a “house of prayer.” To a lesser degree, we can imitate her example and welcome God into the sanctuary of our own lives, homes, minds, hearts, and bodies.
In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of “the works that the Father gave me to accomplish.” He speaks almost as if he were a servant, an errand boy. We give tasks to our servants to perform, and if they want to keep their jobs, they do what they are told. Jesus, humble of heart in his role as a human being, does exactly what his Father tells him to do, and thus accomplishes the salvation of the world. Let us try to be obedient as he was, and thus to accomplish our salvation, under God’s grace, and be instrumental in that of many others. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.