antiphon, Awakening Hour, charity, de-cluttering, Macrina Wiederkehr, monastery, monks, seven sacred pauses, St. Basil the Great, The Sophia Center for Spirituality
Author Macrina Wiederkehr calls the first of her Seven Sacred Pauses (a book for “living mindfully through the hours of the day”) the Awakening Hour. One of the antiphons for this hour sings, “To God belongs the East and the West; and wherever you turn, there is the face of God.” Originally from the Qur’an, this invitation to God’s presence has also made its way into our Wisdom School chants as a reminder that God waits for us at all times in all places.
Celebrated as the Saint of the Day is St. Basil the Great, of whom it is said, “What St. Benedict is to the West, Basil is to the monks of the East” as he established what was probably the first monastery in Asia Minor. His principles influence Eastern monasticism to this day. In addition, Basil faced many of the same problems that we see in modern society and he was especially mindful of the poor. I found the quote offered on the American Catholic website today to be quite apt. I share it as a reminder for all of us who are in the process of de-cluttering and as an indicator of where we might turn to find the face of God.
The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.