The Rule of St. Benedict: Prologue, part 6
In a sentence, our Father Benedict states the purpose of Benedictine community: to "prepare our hearts and our bodies to serve [God] under the guidance of holy obedience" (translation by Patrick Berry OSB). Therefore, "Conscious in this undertaking of our own weakness let us ask the Lord to give us through his grace the help we need."
What is the Feast of the Epiphany but a celebration of God's grace in bestowing upon us who are far off and in darkness a glimpse of the Christ Light come into the world? It is our very weakness, the depth of our darkness, that makes such a glimpse so brilliant.
We respond to the Light by our deeds, and Christ patiently waits for us to do so. Each day is new, and the kind expectation of the Lord does not grow weary even when, through our long habit, we feel sure that God's patience is spent and that the Light no longer burns for us.
Sr. Joan shares a counterintuitive story:
"God," the elder said, "is closer to sinners than to saints." "But how can that be?" the eager disciple asked.
And the elder explained: "God in heaven holds each person by a string. When we sin, we cut the string. Then God ties it up again, making a knot--bringing the sinner a little closer. Again and again sin cuts the string--and with each knot God keeps drawing the sinner closer and closer."
Even our weaknesses take us to God, if we let them.