In preparation for the great monastic solemnity that began with First Vespers this evening, I offer this proper Preface for the meditation and joy of all who have some claim on the paternity of Saint Benedict. The image was painted by the graced hand of Brother Claude Lane, O.S.B., of Mount Angel Abbey.
PREFACE OF OUR HOLY FATHER, SAINT BENEDICT
Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
You raised up the holy abbot Benedict,
as a teacher of the steps of humility
by which a countless number of his sons and daughters
have reached the love which drives out all fear.
Preferring nothing to the love of Christ,
he recognized Christ in the sick and in the stranger,
in the poor and in the pilgrim.
Praising you seven times by day, and even in the night,
he placed all his hope in you,
and taught us never to despair of your mercy.
Even today, his words distill a holy wisdom,
inflame us with longing for life everlasting,
and inspire us to sing your praise
in the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, in the sight of the angels,
with heart and mind in harmony with our voices,
we exalt your glory forever,
as we ceaselessly proclaim: