PROLOGUE OF OUR MOST HOLY FATHER SAINT BENEDICT TO HIS RULE
1 Jan. 2 May. 1 Sept
Hearken, O my son, to the precepts of thy Master, and incline the ear of thine heart; willingly receive and faithfully fulfil the admonition of thy loving Father, that thou mayest return by the labour of obedience to Him from Whom thou hadst departed through the sloth of disobedience. To thee, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever thou art that, renouncing thine own will, dost take up the strong and bright weapons of obedience, in order to fight for the Lord Christ, our true king. In the first place, whatever good work thou beginnest to do, beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect; that He Who hath now vouchsafed to count us in the number of His children may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds. For we must always so serve Him with the good things He hath given us, that not only may He never, as an angry father, disinherit his children, but may never, as a dreadful Lord, incensed by our sins, deliver us to everlasting punishment, as most wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.
“Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” (Canticle 6:9). In the Divine Office and Mass of this first day of the year, the Mother of God comes to us. She who is the Mother of every new beginning in grace would be the Mother of this new year, of this new reading of the Holy Rule, of the fresh beginning that each of us is invited to make today.
If you would again hearken to the the precepts of your Master; if you would again incline the ear of your heart; if you would again willingly receive and faithfully fulfil the admonition of your loving Father, then look to Mary. There is no grace that is not in her giving. The Angel told her: “No word shall be impossible with God” (Luke 1:27). No sooner had the Virgin given her consent than it became possible for all who turn to her to say, “”No word shall be impossible with Mary.”
An immense chorus of the faithful down through the ages attest to the all–powerful intercession of the Mother of God. Open to her today your heart and your life. Reserve nothing for yourself. Open to Mary every moment of your past; give her this new beginning; place every moment of your future in her hands. You will not be disappointed in your hope.