What is revealed
All human customs begin somewhere, for some specific purpose, even if the reason is long forgotten. While in many places one can get away with a certain amount of unthinking custom, in a profession that encompasses every aspect of one’s life, such as in the monastery, we have to be more conscious of the practices we have and why.
The thing about any of our monastic practices and customs, is, while they are important and necessary they are secondary to effect: what sort of fruitfulness is all this exercise engendering? In what is it resulting, and what are we like on the way? Are we being made, individually and communally, a larger, free-er space for Love to do Love’s work?
Someone said the other day that after Benediction, you could smell the incense in the furthest corners of the house. What is the fragrance our use of these customs giving off and filling the house with? Is it sweet? Is it sour? Is it generous and beautiful? Because these molecules, small as they are, and of whatever kind they are, are going to escape the bounds of the monastery and fill the whole house of the Church and the world.