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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of St. Benedict (†547), father of western monks and their guide through the rule that carries his name.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 15, 1-8

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more.

You are clean already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you.

Remain in me, as I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch -- and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and are burnt.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it.

It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Church today remembers Saint Benedict of Nursia, the father of Western monasticism. He came to Rome to finish his studies but then left the city in order to withdraw to more remote places near Subiaco: he wanted to devote his entire life to God. Surrounded by several disciples, he decided to go to Montecassino, where he founded a new monastery and wrote the famous Rule in which he demonstrates his extraordinary human and Christian wisdom. The Rule, in effect, becomes an essential reference point for all western monasticism. He writes in the prologue: “We must constitute a school of divine service ... As one makes progress in the life of conversion and faith, one runs in the way of the commandments with a heart widened with the inexpressible sweetness of love.” What Benedict established is not only valid for those who follow the monastic life, but also for those who live daily life in the world. We all have need of a discipline, therefore of a rule which prevents us from being submerged only in daily life forgetting the Lord, the hearing of his Word, prayer and the commitment to change the world. Through this practice the spiritual man or woman grows within us. We need to be connected to the vine that is Jesus, as we read in the Gospel. Jesus continues to say also to us: “I am the vine, you are the branches,” so that we may understand the kind of link there should be between him and us. A branch lives and bears fruit only if it abides in the vine. If it was cut, it would dry and die. Abiding in the vine is therefore essential for the branches. But this does not occur by chance. We need a discipline, a rule that help us not to be overwhelmed by the vertiginous rhythms of daily life.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets