Rule of Life
“The Rule of Benedict is concerned with life: what it’s about, what it demands, how to love it. And it has not failed a single generation.” Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21th Century, p. 2.Crossroad New York.
Brother Michael Gallagher, OSB, spoke at this weekend’s Community of Hope Retreat about evaluating our Benedictine rule of life. He asked us to consider what was the good news our religion talks about. His belief is that the good news is that we are one with God. We have been loved to life by God. God calls us constantly to keep that connection. How do we do it?
Michael then asked us to carry with us a pad where we could write down what we did every hour for one week. That sounded like a daunting task. At the very least we would get some ideas where we were spending our energy, how and when we were eating, how often we listened to the news, how much time were we spending with family, how much work were we required to do at home. It reminded me of looking at our check book or credit card report to see where we are spending our energy and our money in our life.
Next he recommended we put on our calendar for each day a time for morning prayers. The time, the type of prayers were not as important as if we make it the same time each day. Then he asked us to put down a time for evening prayers, again the same time each day. Lastly he wanted us to write in a regular time for meals each day, same time each day. I am beginning to get his message. God calls us to faithfulness. If we make an effort to have God be a part of a regular rhythm in our lives, we will find that God connection.
Michael promises us, we do not have to worry as much about what we do in between the meals and prayers. God fills in the blanks, we will be led, especially in the interruptions in our lives. Michael did make one suggestion for prayers, and that was prayers of gratitude. My experience is that gratitude is the holy stickiness and can hold our life together. Well, now we are called to more adventure, a new look at our rule of life.
More will be revealed.