“Bless the Lord, frost and cold, bless the Lord,
ice and snow, praise and glorify God forever” (Dan 3).
It was pretty cool (no pun intended) to pray that sentence on a recent Sunday morning. Snow was falling, the wind was blowing and we were awaiting yet another day of sub-zero temperatures…all very fitting for praising the Lord!
Then I went to Evening Prayer on that same day and prayed “Snow is showered down white as wool, and frost is scattered like ashes. Ice crystals are strewn like bread crumbs and no one can endure the cold” (Ps 147). Never before did the weather reference seem so fitting.
When you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, you follow the prescribed Scripture order. You do not pick and choose based on your feelings or preference. Some days the prayers match my experiences (and the weather). Yet, there are days when I am feeling down and I have to pray words of excitement and joy. There are other days when I am loving life and I have to read words of lament and great pain.
I bring my day and my experiences with me every time I come to prayer. And, I am mindful that as a Benedictine Sister, I am called to pray for all the people of the world. In those times when my feelings do not match the tone of the prayers, I know that someone in the world is experiencing that feeling. The continuous dialogue of praise, thanksgiving, and lamentation, turns my heart to the needs of the entire human community and I am challenged to go beyond myself.
Just so you know, the next line in prayer on that cold Sunday night read “then God melts the ice with a word and with a breath makes the water flow again” (Ps 147). Hope springs eternal!
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July 11, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.