Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ecce Quam Bonum

At 5:00 of most weekday evenings, a single note sounds from the magnificent organ within St. Mary's Chapel and the deacon presider intones the words, "God, come to my assistance," thus beginning our communal recitation of the Church's official Evening Prayer, or, as it is known in Church Lingo, Vespers. For the next twenty minutes or so, sixty odd men sit together chanting Psalms, canticles, and petitions.

I have participated in this prayer of the Church in various ways for a number of years now. Sometimes I am caught up with the words of the Psalms. At other times, I am entirely distracted, glancing here and there, and anxiously waiting for the thing to finish. At other times, though, I am struck with a moment of clarity in which I look around and suddenly realize how beautiful is the life I am living.

I had such a moment recently. The east side of the chapel, where I was sitting, has just sung one strophe of a Psalm. We paused, and I turned my head, straining to hear better the west side as they began to chant their response. As I did so, I took in, in a moment, the panorama of the windows, the organ, the music, the altar, and the men seated around me. I thought to myself, "How absurd. What on earth are all these men doing here, sitting in a grey, stone chapel, singing." In that moment, I was overwhelmed anew with the glorious realization that we are all in this together - lay men and deacons and priests, new students and returning students, old men and young men - all of us bound together in this place by this call. The Scriptures alone seem to capture the sentiment: "Behold how good it is where brothers dwell as one" (Psalm 133:1).


J. Thorp said...

Love it.

Jinglebob said...

Jim summed that up very well, I think.

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