Thursday, April 24, 2008

366 Day 204 - April 24 - We wish this rule to be read often

If there is any chapter in the rule that demonstrates Benedictine openness to life and, at the same time, models a manner of living in the midst of society without being consumed by it, this is surely the one. Guests are welcomed enthusiastically in Benedictine spirituality but, at the same time, life is not to be frittered away on work, on social life, on the public bustle of the day. The community is to stay as self-contained as possible so that centered in the monastery they stay centered in their hearts. More, this balance between public and private, between openness and centeredness, between consciousness of the outside world and concentration on interior growth is to be remembered and rehearsed over and over again: “We wish this rule to be read often,” the rule says plaintively so that the monastic never forgets that the role of the committed Christian is always to grow richer themselves so that they can give richly to others.
--Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict, Insights for the Ages

Seton's Thought
I hear the call to walk the fine line that combines “of” the world and “in” the world in these words. I like to walk and tramp in various places, often listening for God in the process. This reading makes me think how sometimes I try to walk the curb at the edge of the sidewalk or road. Depending on the place I am walking this can be easy or difficult. The call to “read the rule often” is an important call when thinking about these walks – sometimes I lose focus and think I am more skillful than I really am and take more risks than I should. More often I become complacent and quit walking the path requiring balance; I take the easy way out and stop walking altogether. May I be reminded daily of the need to keep walking, searching, and searching for the balance between “of” and “in”…

This is a posting from my Flickr page, where I have been taking a picture each day since January 1st and adding some thoughts or comments on Sister Joan Chittister's reflection on St. Benedict's Rule of Life. I may, on occasion, post other pictures and items. You can see other postings in this series on Flickr at

No comments: