What Eye Has Not Seen


“What eye has not seen, and ear not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love God” (1 Corinthians 2:9. The New American Bible).

St. Benedict uses these words at the end of chapter 4, On the Tools for Good Works in The Rule.  Benedict suggests that “What eye has not seen,,,,” is the “living wage” that God will grant to us when we return those tools on the day of judgement.  What we do not know about such a “living wage” is so incredibly amazing, that there is no part of the human being that can fully grasp the greatness of it.

The Tools for Good Works that St. Benedict wrote about are the corporal and spiritual the works of mercy.  They are those things which any Christian does out of love for God and neighbor.  What is notable in what Benedict is writing about in chapter 4, is that later in chapter 32 concerning the qualifications of the monastic cellarer, he states that the cellarer must “regard all the utensils of the monastery and its whole property as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.”  It seems to me that whether we utilize the tools for good works or the tools to fix the broken DVD player, Benedict tells us that the God we cannot see is present there.

“Benedictine spirituality is a sacramental spirituality.  It holds all things–the earth and all its goods–as sacred.” (Sr. Joan Chittister, The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to A Meaningful Life, p. 115). 

All God asks for us to do today, is to search for God in faith and trust; so that what we cannot see, hear or comprehend is something so beyond our wildest imagination; that only in contemplative prayer can we see it from God’s perspective.   Even in contemplative prayer we will only catch a mere glimpse for a moment in time suspended by eternity.  Yet, it is so awesome and powerful; that no human eye, no human ear, or thought in the human heart can possibly comprehend all the good things God has for us who love God.


Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB

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