‘in fact everything’

“In the thirty-first chapter of the rule, Saint Benedict states something so remarkable that I keep coming back to it each night as I stack bowls and dry plates.  he says, “All the utensils of the monastery and in fact everything that belongs to the monastery should be cared for as though they were the sacred vessels of the altar.”

All the utensils.

I take the sponge and rinse it in the silver sink.  Nothing in this skinny kitchen is all that special.  And I’ve been living as if my tasks as a mom, those daily, mundane tasks-the brushing of my son’s teeth, the wiping of his bottom, the dressing of his body, the kissing of his scraped knees, the soothing of his wild terrors-as if they were nothing significant, as if they were simply normal, what every mother does.

I’m mesmerized by Saint Benedict’s words, that the monks should care for every tool in the monastery, from the garden hoe to the kitchen cleaver, as if it were the very chalice of the Eucharist, the tool that brings the blood of Christ to the lips of believers.

I am undone.

I’m not sure why I’ve been waiting for this.  I’m not sure why I needed someone to say it to me this way. But with Benedict’s words, I feel my world has been reborn holy.  Suddenly my life, all these small daily instruments I am packing in my home, and the very sippy cup I fill with milk and raise to my boy’s lips, is an instrument of worship.”

-Micha Boyett, “Found”


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