Busy like a bee, thou did serve the Lord.

“It was like the work which keep bees hard at their task
about the flowering countryside as the sun shines in the calm of early
summer…All is a ferment of activity, and the scent of honey rises with the
perfume of thyme.”  How aptly these words
of Virgil the poet describe the scene at Rosary Convent over the last two weeks.
Like “bees in a meadow on a fine summer day settling on
flowers of every kind” the sisters were busy writing assignments, compiling
examination papers, writing report comments, teaching,  attending classes, with frequent intervals of returning
to their little chapel for prayers, spiritual reading and meditation.  But in fact they would not return to their familiar
and well loved little chapel for long…
…for like Shakespeare’s “singing masons building roofs of
gold” they have in very fact been busy with the help of many others in the
parish to prepare a new and much bigger chapel, which will be able to house growing
numbers in the hive.  The work involved
clearing out the “old barn” which served as an area for storage, carpentry,
library, lecture, and music room. Once cleared, working like bees with order
and peace, serious cleaning could start, and then the all important tasks of
cladding walls, installing lights, painting, carrying our new choir stalls and
furnishings back in and arranging them in just the right fashion to fit maximum
numbers.  The Blessed Sacrament had to be
removed for the moving of the altar, which proved hard work for the men and
boys who assisted, and happy the moment when all was ready and Father could return
Our Lord to complete the new Chapel.    

Tired but thankful voices filled the new Chapel for Vespers
on the Feast of St Cecilia of whom we sang “Busy like a bee, thou did serve the
Lord” (Versicle of Matins for her feast).

St Ambrose compares holy virgins to the bee. For “the bee
feeds on dew, knows no marriage couch and makes honey. ..[So] the virgin’s dew
is the divine word; for the word of God descends like the dew, her modesty is
unstained nature and her produce is the fruit of the lips, without bitterness, abounding
in sweetness… How I wish you, my daughter, to be an imitator of these bees,
whose food is flowers, whose offspring is collected and brought together by the
mouth. Do imitate her, my daughter. Let no veil of deceit be spread over your
words; let them have no covering of guile, that they may be pure, and full of
gravity.”  We pray that all in the
Novitiate have drawn the honey of wisdom from their study and contemplation and
as generous as the bee have given that sweetness to others, especially the
children we taught in school.

“It is the
spirit of wisdom and understanding which, like a bee bearing both wax and
honey, is able to kindle the light of knowledge and to pour in the savour of
grace…What would be the good of learning without love? It would puff up. And
love without learning? It would go astray.” Pope Pius XII.  We pray to do our work faithfully in order to
produce not only the wax of knowledge but also the honey by which the children
will acquire the taste and desire for that which is good.

Sisters, while working and praying in the new Chapel,“let
your spirits rise in mystic flight to experience the kindness of God, to taste
the sweetness of His word and His law” (Ps. 18:11; 118: 103), to contemplate the
divine light symbolized by the burning flame of the candle, product of the
mother bee, as the Church sings in her admirable liturgy of Holy Saturday.

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