Meister Eckhart, a 14th century theologian and mystic, wrote, “What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” A motto held by Benedictines expresses the same sentiment as Eckhart’s: ora et labora—that is, prayer and work. The fundamental work of Benedictines and all Christians is to act with love and justice on behalf of those most in need. Prayer is the vehicle that opens our hearts to God and impels us to works of loving service to others. In the Our Father, we pray, “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done.” When we plant these words in our hearts, we will act in ways that hasten God’s reign among us. The harvest will be plentiful when we become the voice for the voiceless, the hands that feed the hungry and the eyes that recognize Christ in all people and in all the earth.
By Christian Morris, OSB