We will recite the Office thoughtfully and solemnly, following exactly the mediants and the other indications, and making sure that we do not warrant Jesus Christ’s criticism of the Jews, that they honored God with their lip service, while their hearts were very far from God. 

1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter 3, §6 Divine Office

  In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.   Matthew 6:7

This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Mark 7:6

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.   Mahatma Gandhi

This entry was posted in RULE and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    Well, I guess I ought to have waited for this text before responding to yesterdays! Eugene was not into the psalm in one breath or “getting the office in at few minutes before midnight.
    I will surely side with the Mahatma.
    It is not that we “do” the prayers, but that we become and are the prayer we pray through out the day. This calls for mindfulness and focus which are enemies of our multi-tasking society.
    In my reading this morning from the Bhagavad Gita I read, “Any devotee who seeketh to worship with faith any such aspect, I verily bestow the unswerving faith of that man.”

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I feel much as you do Jack, and actually as I started to just read this day I began to laugh at myself – gently – but still laugh.

    I love what Matthew says and Gandhi. And after some conversation and reflection I at least begin with a new level of awareness of the need to pray for the the Church, and that would be ALL who make up the Church, the Body of Christ. And perhaps pray with – Oraison maybe?

    Though I do not recall seeing a photo of Eugene grinning with glee I have the feeling that were I to see him now it would be there in his eyes. So thank you again Eugene. You seem to continue to be able to “stir things up” now, just as you did 200 years ago.

  3. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning the image that comes to mind is of Eugene as a father, older, wiser, perhaps a grandfather, gentle, teaching, patience. I am struck by how imbued he is in scripture, how the Word of God is truly an integral part of his life and who he is. This I have heard before, many times and yet today it seems to hit me between the eyes. I find myself telling Eugene himself how I want (need certainly but there is another aspect added now, a hunger, a yearning), I find myself telling him how I want to learn more.

    Down in San Antonio we were asked at one point to share one of our “wow” moments (moment in our lives when God was present in the moment) along with our favourite text/verse from scripture. I shared one of my “wow” moments but the verse from scripture I struggled with and eluded me. I cannot say that I know scripture very well, I cannot quote it very well and I certainly cannot tell you what the chapter, verse and line are (and I most of the time cannot tell you the author unless its from Paul) one of my secret shames? At home alone in my room I will google the verse to see where/who it is from and then read it through in it’s entirety, but that was not possible that day in a conference room. I thought first of Mary’s song but moved past it, I thought of the many verses from St. Paul which I loved but could not quote a single line from in those moments especially at that moment on the spot. I thought of Jeremiah 29:11-14, God’s promise. And I moved back to Mary’s prayer, her song of the Magnificat.

    The Magnificat which I sing over and over, not daily but incredibly often. And even with this I must be truthful and admit my initial fears, doubts and guilt when I first began to sing the words, as they became a part of me, my breath and who I am. For this was Mary’s canticle and I was so very much, so very far from being like Mary – each time I got to the line “from now on will all ages will call me blessed” – I was not worthy to think let alone say those words. I would try to skip, to deny that line as I sang. That was then. Now I just allow the joy to take over and sing the song. This canticle has become a part of me. It is a song of praise to my God and like many other songs filled with the joy of God’s love I find myself awaking each day singing it. And even as I write this I marvel as I realise that the songs which the spirit fills me with even as I sleep are all taken from scripture. God hears my call, knows my yearning and so the Spirit fills me with what I ask for.

    I seem to have travelled far from “the breath of community prayer” and how we should pray it this morning. I shall blame it on you Eugene. This morning I have not rushed, but rather taken the time to savour the thoughts and the words. I have allowed myself the freedom of simply sitting and being with your words, the lines of scripture which I quoted (after looking up the chapter and lines). I feel your smile as I sit here at your knees to learn and be and my soul begins to hum “Our God is an awesome God” (for I don’t even know the words of that song – even as I soul sings it).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *