Every time I enter our sacred chapel space, my attention is drawn to the Latin phrase painted in gold atop the main arch at the east end of the chapel: “ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus.” In English it means: “that in all things God may be glorified”(1 Peter 4:11 and referenced in the Rule of St. Benedict 57:9). It invites me to stop, pause, and pay attention. I am reminded “You are entering the sacred place of God’s dwelling- the center point of your life. You are here to be refreshed and renewed and to be embraced in God’s love.”
I have stopped what I am doing to enter into a prayerful stance, to enter into God’s Holy Presence, and to sing God’s song with my Sisters. This time is the Work of God, our life with and in God. It is not a separation from the world I have just left, but a communion in God’s Presence for the sake of the world.
The saying “that in all things God may be glorified” reminds me that earth and heaven are one. I am here in this sacred space for a reason. I am here to be shaped by God and to be loved by God so that I can shape and love wherever I go- at work, at table, at prayer. It is this chapel time that is the essence of it all, uniting time and prayer into God’s universal call to love. Whether I am in chapel praying alone or praying with my Sisters in community, I know that the fruit of this time goes with me wherever I go. I hear the call to carry within my heart the message “that in all things God may be glorified” every breathing moment of my life. So, every time I enter our sacred space and my eyes greet the words of St. Benedict “that in all things God may be glorified,” I thank God for this sacred space and our holy gathering in God’s Presence.
As I open the door to prayer
my heart breathes a sigh of relief
as I step into Holy Space.
The stillness of God’s beauty
permeates every fiber of my being
as I place myself in God’s Holy Embrace.
As my eyes gaze heavenward
I am grateful for my call
to sing my heart out
“That in all things God may be glorified.”
By Sister Priscilla Cohen, OSB