A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Meditation Moments: Benedict and this Rule thing

All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ...
Listen and attend with 
the ear of your heart.
From The Rule of St. Benedict 
~ St. Benedict of Nursia, Abbot* [c480-543-7]
Celebrated by the Church on July 11

Definition of RULE (Merriam-Webster)
a :  a prescribed guide for conduct or action
b :  the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members
c :  an accepted procedure, custom, or habit
d (1) :  a usually written order or direction made by a court regulating court practice or the action of parties (2) :  a legal precept or doctrine
e :  a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or controlling conduct 

Dear Supreme Abbot,
          I can listen to people deeply and I can work a bit harder at finding Jesus in them, but this Rule thing...it's that word...I'm seriously resistant to the word Rule. I know about Commandments but isn't that a different kind of God thing? There are so many laws, ordinances, and statutes telling me what I may and may not do in life, most of which I take for granted and obey without any specific awareness. I had rules as a child, in school, at work, but to think of following a Rule for my spiritual life sounds like a lot of effort. Isn't it enough that I go to Sunday church more often than not, give money, and try to remember to pray at various times? I'm a reasonably nice person, oh, and I'm faithful, too, at least I'm pretty sure that I am. 
        Okay, so maybe the word Guide works better for me, a plan of things to do to build up my spiritual side. Perhaps it will help me feel a bit more like having that relationship with You that I hear about but haven't really connected with for myself. And You want me to follow this Rule Guide as part of a community? This is getting bigger again, just when I thought I was getting a handle on it. So then, what if I take a look at this Guide and see if I know anyone else who wants to look at it with me. We could meet as a community  small group and walk through it to learn more about it together. It can't hurt - maybe try a prayer service of some kind outside of Sunday morning and see what that's like. Oh, I'm just so busy with work and the family and the household....but, am I really too busy to spend a little time with You? How can that be, if I'm as faithful as I like to think I am? I'm willing to try - maybe there are others who would like to try along with me. Will You help me take that first step, please? I think I could just be ready to know You better. You do listen with the ear of Your heart - could it be that I'll be welcomed as Christ?  amen.

*St. Benedict of Nursia founded 12 monastic communities in Italy and developed The Rule to foster spiritual growth in personal and communal life as well as giving specifics on administration of the monastery, and the role its Abbot. It has resonated through the ages with lay and ordained alike, in monastic and secular communities, anywhere people are seeking God through a way of life that fits where they are without being merely a set of religious prescriptions. Benedict and his Rule are celebrated by Catholics and Anglicans alike in our own day through Benedictine Communities of various sizes, shapes, and locations around the world.

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