Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chapter 71: Mutual obedience in the monastery


Any monk or nun who is corrected for anything by abbot or abbess or one of the seniors and perceives that the senior is upset by feelings of anger, even though they may be well in control, then that junior should at once prostrate on the ground in contrition and not move until the senior gives a blessing which will heal the upset. (From Ch. 71 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

Too often I get caught up in proving a point about who's right or wrong. What matters is being kind to each other, and moving on.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chapter 70: The offence of striking another


Every occasion for presumptuous behaviour in a monastery must be avoided, so we insist that no one in the community may excommunicate or strike another unless given the power to do so by the superior. (From Ch. 70 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

Presumptiveness and the desire to control flare from my ego. But my spirit moves tenderly.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chapter 69: No one should act as advocate for another


Great care must be taken to avoid any tendency for one of the community to take the side of and try to protect another, even though they may be closely related through ties of blood. (From Ch. 69 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

I can't change another person, nor should I try to protect another from the inward growth he or she needs to do. But I can respect the conditions needed for growth.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Chapter 68: The response to orders that seem impossible


If the superior after listening to this submission still insists on the original command, then the junior must accept that it is the right thing and with loving confidence in the help of God obey. (From Ch. 68 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. By Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

In facing an impossible situation, obedience seems very much like faith to me.  I learn both in trusting the mantra to lead me to find God in my weak and vulnerable places.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chapter 67: Those who are sent on a journey


Those who are sent on a journey should commend themselves to the prayers of the community as well as of the superior and, at the last prayer of the work of God in the oratory, there should always be a memento of all who may be absent. (From Ch. 67 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. By Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.) 

The mantra, like a memento left in the oratory, guards my heart and always brings me back to seeking God.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chapter 66: The porter or portress of the monastery


At the entrance to the monastery there should be a wise senior who is too mature in stability to think of wandering about and who can deal with whatever help is required. (From para. 1 of Ch. 66 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. By Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

At the entrance to my heart is a mantra which can root me and guide me and radiate a stable, helpful presence to others.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chapter 65: The prior or prioress of the monastery (paragraphs 2-3)


We have no doubt, therefore, that it is best in the interests of preserving peace and charity that the authority for the whole administration of the monastery should rest with the abbot or abbess. (From para. 2 of Ch. 65 of Saint Benedict's Rule, trans. by Patrick Barry, OSB, 1997.)

I have no doubt, and know from my own experience, that it is best in the interests of preserving peace and charity that the authority for my whole being is rooted in the ground of my heart.