Thursday, June 2, 2016


St. Benedict at Meribah-the Chaminade Retreat House

Today's readings calls to mind the most sacred text of Israel is Deuteronomy 6:4-5, the famous Shema Yisrael:

"Hear, O Israel: 
The LORD is our God, 
the LORD alone. 
You shall love the LORD your God 
with all your heart, 
and with all your soul, 
and with all your might."

There are two principal elements to the Shema: 
the declaration of radical monotheism 
and the commandment to love God with every part of ourselves. 

Yet, there's an often-overlooked part of the Shema that precedes these two great emphases: the preface, "Hear, O Israel."

The first and foremost duty of Israel, even before monotheistic devotion and striving to love God, is to listen.