Thursday, February 02, 2006

Initiation & Divine Office

Today we were officially initiated into the seminary, before that we were "statusless" ;Þ And so we had a mass in the evening, and with Jude and my families attending, where we were presented with our cassocks. Our brother Joseph also began his novitiate with the disciples of the Lord (CDD)

It was a special day, especially since it was the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, making our initiation much more meaningful, and much to reflect on. This day also, the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Or as someone refers for all our "consecrated virgins" in the religious orders.

Fr Rector's sermon also was very challenging. As from the readings, the shadow of the cross starts to make its appearance early in Jesus' life. So we too have to be take up our cross, and be generous, to make sacrifice, to embrace suffering. And most importantly to consecrate our lives to God in the service of others. That they too may recognise Jesus as Simeon did.

Talking about Simeon, something that we learnt in the Divine Office class. Ever wondered why we say the Benedictus at Lauds, Magnificat at Vespers, and Nunc Dimitis at Compline. The Benedictus is the prayer of Zechariah (Lk 1:68-79) at the birth of his son John the Baptist. It is a prayer of expectation and hope, of the salvation that God has promised to us, Jesus, and so we too, in the morning, pray that we in the day would herald God's salvation to the world.

Then in the evening, we pray the Magnificat, Mary's prayer (Lk 1:46-55) because she is filled with the presence of our Lord in her womb. And we too acknowledge Christ presence with us, and give praise to God. And at the night prayer, we pray the Nunc Dimitis, which is the prayer of Simeon (Lk 2:29-32) who is so overjoyed to have seen God's salvation. Thus at the end of the day, we do our examen, where we reflect on the day that has passed, and where and how we have encountered and been with the Lord. Did we have the eyes of Simeon to be able to recognise His presence in our lives. We give praise for the times we did, and express regret for the times we were not open, and pray for continual growth in our lives.

This has really helped me make more sense of the divine office, and help me get into the mindset of what I'm really praying for each different time.

1 comment:

ernie said...

Keep the faith! The pic of you and Jude plus that of him with his family is testament to the Lord's love and faithfulness.

Will keep you in my prayers, as I ask that you keep me in yours... Amen

PS - can email me the pics cos when I tried to save the pics its a "spaceball" LOL