Oh God of Peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we will be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength…. – Prayer for Quiet Confidence, P. 832
I knew the practice of law had changed for the worst the morning I got a fax from a client asking that I call him, and attached to the fax was an eighty page document. Two seconds later, another fax arrived from the client reminding me to call ASAP to go over the document. Any possibility of thought, contemplation, or reflection before talking to the angry and inpatient client was out the window. That was twenty years ago, I can’t imagine the modern-day pressures of texts, e-mails, etc. have brought on. This is a world high on technology, short on time, and starved for reflection.
That is why each of us needs, even more, to practice the Benedictine discipline of Holy Leisure and to keep the Sabbath. Leisure is the Benedictine gift of regular reflection and continual consciousness of God. It is the gift of contemplation in a world of action. Benedictine leisure is a commitment to the development of a culture with a Sabbath mind. The learned Rabbi said the purpose of the Sabbath is to reflect on life, to determine what we are doing and who we are is what we should be doing and who we want to be. The Sabbath mentality brings wisdom and action together.
So this Lent we turn our minds to contemplation first, not to activity. We turn our thoughts to how God sees our world, and how our actions bear up against the scrutiny of our ideals. We turn off the technology until we have the vision to see how it can be used to serve God and our society.