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"I planted two big pots of flowers at Starbucks. I thought we needed some beauty and nature in the cement-world where the Starbucks store is set on Highway 23. WOW, has it helped the morale of employees and customers!

I often ask the customers if they have noticed the flowers and how beautiful they are. "What flowers?" they say. "Hello, the two big pots right outside the door!"

"Oh," they grin, and often come back in after they have left

and tell me they are beautiful.

The employees meticulously water and take care of the plants when I am not working and often give me a report on how they are doing.

If you think about it, it doesn’t take much to enjoy life.

Just stop and see the beauty of life around you.

That’s what I love about the call to treat every vessel as sacred

in the Rule of St. Benedict.

The beauty around us is sacred; the call is to notice.

Check out the next flower pot you find on your way,

and smile at God’s sacred imagination.

Trish Dick, OSB: Sister at St Joseph’s, Minnesota,

who lives out her Benedictine Rule of Life by working prayerfully at Starbucks!

Benedict was born in Nursia, central Italy, around the year 480. As a young man he was sent to study in Rome, but was soon appalled by the corruption in society and withdrew to live as a hermit at Subiaco.

He quickly attracted disciples and began to establish small monasteries in the neighbourhood. Around the year 525, a disaffected faction tried to poison him so Benedict moved to Monte Cassino with a band of loyal monks. Later in life Benedict wrote his Rule for Monks, based on his own experience of fallible people striving to live out the gospel.

He never intended to found an order, but his Rule was so good that it was disseminated and widely followed, becoming the model for all western monasticism.

Benedict died at Monte Cassino in about the year 550.

Before all things and above all things,

care must be taken of the sick,

so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;

for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),

and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me" (Matt. 25:40).

Eternal God, who made Benedict

a wise teacher in the school of your service

and a guide to many called into community

to follow the rule of Christ:

grant that we may put your love before all else and seek with joy the way of your commandments; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Lord God, we praise you for your servant Benedict,

who turned from earthly wealth

to discover the rich simplicity of your love:

Lord, teach us to measure our lives

by the fullness of Christ.

We thank you for Benedict’s insight that all relationships

should be governed by humility:

Teach us to respect each other and all creation.

We thank you for his teaching,

that obedience is the touchstone of faith:

Lord, bring our hearts back to desire your will.

O God, whose greeting we miss,

and whose departure we delay;

make our hearts burn with insight on our ordinary road,

that, as we grasp you in the broken bread,

we may also let you and ourselves go

in the places of your choosing;

that in faith we may step out to desire a better country

and speak your word of life in the name of Christ. Amen.

Janet Morley

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