Item description for The Work of God: Benedictine Prayer by Judith Sutera...
Overview people beyond those who dwell in monasteries. For those looking for an everyday grounding in Benedictine spirituality and who wish to pray according to the Benedictine style of liturgy of the hours, "The Work of God" is an ideal resource. Beautifully bound with gilt-edged pages and one ribbon marker, it is a handsome addition to any book shelf.
From its beginnings, Benedictinism has touched the lives of many people beyond those who dwell in monasteries. For those looking for an everyday grounding in Benedictine spirituality and who wish to pray according to theBenedictine style of Liturgy of the Hours, "Work of God" is an ideal resource.
While written primarily for Benedictine oblates, this simple yet elegant prayer book also gives the unfamiliar user a starting place from which to progress into a more intense practice. Largely a two-week arrangement of morning and evening prayer, it also contains essays that provide a broad introduction to monastic spirituality and its relevance for non-monastics.
"Work of God" relies substantially on the ICEL psalms. The psalms for each day include at least one of those which Benedict recommended for the liturgical hour. The closing prayer for each liturgy is linked through words and images to some concept or quotation in the Rule, thus providing more of connection to Benedictine spirituality. Each day's liturgy includes a short reading and the New Testament canticle, so there's no need to turn from one section to another.
"Work of God" is not an official manual, but rather a convenient alternative to the multiple liturgy books used in some communities, the "Roman Breviary," or more general or abbreviated office books. Beautifully bound with gilt-edged pages and one ribbon marker, it is a handsome addition to any bookshelf.
Those who live in the spirit of St. Benedict are always alert to God. The opening word of the Rule, listen," is its essence. One listens first of all to the words of Scripture which teach God's way. "Work of God" helps the pray-er allow the Word to speak within the self in an environment of silence and solitude.
Essays by Sutera are "The Life and the Spirit of St. Benedict," "Benedictinism and the World Around It: The Oblate Movement," and "Praying the Liturgy of the Hours." Irene Nowell, OSB, contributes the essay "Praying the Psalms." Other chapters are "Week I - Evening and Morning Praise," "The Practice of "Lectio,"" "Thoughts from the Rule of St. Benedict," "Some Benedictine Prayers," "The Medal and the Cross of St. Benedict," "Week II - Evening and Morning Praise," "Major Feasts of the Church Year," "Common for Feasts of Christ," "Common for Feasts of Mary," "Common of Apostles and Martyrs," "Common of Holy Men and Women," and "Compline(Night Prayer).""
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Studio: Liturgical Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.05" Width: 4.5" Height: 0.98" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2000
Publisher Liturgical Press
ISBN 0814624316 ISBN13 9780814624319
Availability 0 units.
More About Judith Sutera
Judith Sutera is a Benedictine sister of the monastery of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. She holds degrees in psychology and sociology, with a master's degree in counseling, and, in 1986, became one of the first women to receive a master's degree in monastic theology. A magazine editor and the author of several books, she is a director for oblates, teaches courses in monastic spirituality, and gives presentations, retreats, and workshops for monastic communities, academic conferences, formation groups, and retreat centers across the United States.
Judith Sutera has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Work of God: Benedictine Prayer?
Poor prayer companion May 18, 2008
As a Benedictine Oblate, I bought this book in an attempt to acquire another source for a more Benedictine type of daily office. I've used the official LOH for years and wanted something more in line with my new tradition.
What a surprise. I can forgive the cheap construction of the book, since it's price was low too. However, what I cannot stand is the inscrutible translation of the psalms. I found the straw that broke this camel's back in reading psalm 40, which reads "Your maternal love..." (wk 1, Friday Evening Praise), making reference to the love of God the father. I recognize politics when I see it, and know too that the "divine feminine" is a post-conciliar accretion that is not to be found in the official Magisterium of the church. It may, however, come as a surprise to those who perpetrated this "translation" to know that we fathers are also capable of a warm, nurturing love for our children. It is thus not necessary to employ the term "maternal" in this fashion. However, I suspect an agenda here. My agenda now is the disposal of this book. Check eBay if your interested.
Take my advice: wait for the Benedictine Confederation to bring out something more in line with the new "Benedictine Reform" of the Holy Father. It will be worth the wait.
Lovely Book Jun 7, 2007
This prayer book is a beautiful way to worship throughout the week. It is centered on the Psalms and has a quiet reflective mood.
Friendly morning and evening prayer Jul 23, 2005
This book is great for getting you started with morning and evening prayer. It's good for oblates or those preparing to be. It's a friendly book, and has a 2 week schedule. It also includes extra information, such as on the life of St. Benedict and what it means to be an oblate. The format is user friendly and the language is inclusive
Prayerful... Feb 5, 2004
As Judith Sutera, OSB, states in her introduction, Benedictine prayer is not something reserved for monks and nuns in monastic settings, but rather can be shared by people of spiritual practice regardless of their community background and situation. The technical term for a book such as this is the Divine Office - Benedictines in monastic settings follow a particular order of daily prayer and work. This is modified for use for those outside such communal settings (particularly as ordinary work-day schedules rarely structure `prayer' times).
This is in modern, updated language. The psalms follow the ICEL translation, and the overall text is in keeping with the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, to give a more inclusive feel.
Sutera gives a brief biography of St. Benedict, born about the year 480, who is the great monastic founder and author of the Rule, a code of life practice still in practice to this day. The Rule of St. Benedict underpins this prayer book at every turn. Life is sacred, and all practices and pieces of life are to be sanctified - this is one of the intentions of Benedict, who had a care for balance, for community, for godliness, and for attentiveness. The very first word of the Rule is `Listen!'
Sutera continues with a brief description of the Benedictine oblate movement - those who incorporate Benedictine practices without joining residential monastic communities. There are literally millions of oblates in the world today, a great cloud of witnesses with whom to pray. Even when one does the Offices alone, one can rest in confident assurance that somewhere else in the world, others are joining in.
Sutera gives a brief description of the structure of the Offices for this book, which are arranged on a bi-weekly cycle of morning and evening prayers (the monastic offices have more times than this, but again, it is difficult to incorporate in daily life). There are pieces for practice of the Lectio, the holy reading for spiritual uplift and enlightment, taken from the Rule, as well as other Benedictine prayers to be found between the weeks. At the end of the text are lists of the major feast days of the church, as well as the Commons for these (apostles, martyrs, Mary, etc.). There is also a form of Compline service concluding the book.
This is a handy little book to have, and a good devotional tool.
Unreadably Awful Psalm Translation Jun 15, 2003
This book uses an indescribably vapid Dick-and-Jane Reader translation of the psalms, one that's utterly devoid of poetry, music and majesty -- a translation even less beautiful than the Roman breviary's "Grail" translation, if that can be imagined.