The Power of the Seed the Word
Then one morning in prime while we were singing Psalm 17 and we came to the verse “et eduxit me in latitudinem: salvum me fecit, quoniam voluit me,” I suddenly knew that this was an important verse. I could feel in my heart that it had meaning for me.
After the office, I sought out Mother Columba and asked her what the verse meant. She slowly translated: “’Et eduxit me in’ means ‘and the Lord has led me into’; ‘latitudinem,’ an ‘open space,’ a ‘free space’; ‘salvum me fecit,’ ‘and he has given me this salvation’; ‘quoniam voluit me,’ ‘because he loved me.’ It’s simple, Sister. God sets you free because he loves you.” That was exactly what I had felt when I was singing.
That was the key that opened the office to me. I used to hear sisters say, “I love lauds; if I can get to lauds my whole day is better,” or “Without compline, I feel I have not ended the day well,” and I would wonder what they meant by that. Now I thought of the scene in “The Miracle Worker” when young Helen Keller realizes the connection between the word she had learned only by rote and the actual thing it represented—water. I could identify with that moment. I knew that if I could stay with it and truly pray the office, the significance would come through. Chanting the office finally allowed me to comprehend each hour of the day in answer to the question: Why am I doing this? Why am I sweeping the floor? Why am I lifting rocks? When you come to the office you have the opportunity to bring to consciousness the fact that you are doing this in praise of God.