Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

Patterns, Cycles, and Again (s)...

October 8, 2012

Look for the patterns in your life and try to make them beneficial so that you are getting closer to God.




Many years ago, I enrolled myself into three summer courses at the University of Hartford in Connecticut that would benefit my Music Education classes in the fall. The one course that I would like to focus on was entitled, How to Enhance and Have Fun in Your Music Classes. It is a course that I will never forget as it took a turn in the road that placed me where I never expected to be. After five days of eight hour sessions, I didn’t walk out thinking about music.  On the long ride home to New Jersey, I was thinking about something else entirely.


One morning, when going to breakfast, I sat down to eat my cold cereal as my course professor sat beside me. There was an infamous trial taking place in Washington, DC while I was attending Hartford U that summer. After taking two mouthfuls of cereal, my professor asked me what I thought of the trial…did I think that the person on trial, in a prominent position in our government, was guilty. My answer was that I wasn’t sure if he was guilty. His reply back to me was, “not only was he guilty but it was a pattern.”


When I arrived in the classroom that morning, my professor asked me to tell the class what we discussed over breakfast. I told everyone verbatim what was said, and from that moment on, the class, as well as myself, had been transported to another very important aspect in ourselves. The professor went on to explain about patterns in our lives. The word patterns took on the image of a mirror with a conscience. It began as something so simple but grew into a life-changing process that would not allow me to think of anything else. All the way home on the New York Thruway and the Garden State Parkway, patterns were jumping out at me from every direction…for example: the painted lines on the highway, the rows of lights on the toll booths, the mile marker signs, some of the trees, the guard rail posts, the lamps over the Raritan River Bridge…there were patterns galore. When I finally reached my driveway, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had heard and learned.


In prefacing all of that in its sense of practicality, I now reflected on all of what I had recently absorbed and brought it before God. What were the good patterns in my life? What were the not so good patterns in my life? What patterns do I keep repeating which had become cyclical? What do I need to erase from my life? What new patterns could I develop in my life which would be better for me? The list before God went on and on and on.


When I began the school year, I began not with music but with “patterns: look at the cinder blocks on the walls, look at the desks, at the ceiling tiles. What other patterns do you see? Are you on time for school each day? Do you have your homework prepared? Are you kind to the children in your class? How can you change the outcome of your negative answers to these questions?”


It was truly a summer course that changed the shape of my soul. What questions could you ask yourself?  re: the patterns of your lives? Would God be with you as you dug more deeply into your soul?


My song du jour: Change Our Hearts     By Rory Cooney

Refrain:   Change our hearts this time, your word says it can be.

         Change our minds this time, Your life could make us free.

         We are the people your call set apart,

         Lord, this time change our hearts.


Prayer for the Week: We ask the Lord to change our patterns in our life cycles that would lead us closer to him, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

“That in God, may all things be glorified.”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, O.S.B.

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