A sacred space for Love

Today is the feast of St Benedict, patron of Europe as well as the founding father of monasticism. Europe is certainly in need of as many prayers as possible from its patron, as this post from Digital Nun reminds us; prayers for individual countries, like Greece, and more generally for unity and support.

But Benedict is mostly revered and remembered for his Rule, and his legacy of monastic life and prayer, and aspects of this is what has predominated in various blogs and social media accounts. What caught my eye and imagination was this sonnet by Malcolm Guite, and in particular the final lines...

To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.

This is undoubtedly at the core of living monastic life, but it is also the central call of being a contemplative in the world. In the midst of busyness and bustle, with distractions and competing demands, it is so vital for us to clear and keep, and keep on keeping, a sacred space for Love: a space within ourselves as much as within our schedules; a space where we can not only bring the pain of the world and our own hearts, but also listen to Love's whispers, and learn from Love's tenderness. It is also a space which expands, as our hearts widen and grow, and one which fills, as we are filled, with God's transforming grace.

May the prayers and example of St Benedict accompany and help all of us in this.