Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Endings, Beginnings, Discovery, and a Bit of Discernment

I begin here with an open question to myself: "Am I Called?"

"Of course" is the easy answer, we all are. The harder question is "Am I Called to something specific?" My answer is equivocal, as you might gather from the "Bit of Discernment" in the title for this entry.

So, what's the deal? The "deal" is getting back to basics and attempting to read the Rule of Benedict on a daily basis. In the past decade the Rule has become an important part of my life: I have read and re-read it, I have spent retreats at a monastery, and I have become a Benedictine Oblate associated with the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. I am also a rather fallible human being that still finds I put myself first more often than I like to admit and struggles with giving myself to God on a daily basis. Over the past year I have even acted like I have "accomplished" spirituality, recently spending more time in career and less in God to the point I am now a bit uncomfortable with the current balance.

However, I do feel a call to a new ministry that my church (St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA) is working to join called The Community of Hope a ministry that is "shaped by Benedictine spirituality". This effort uses Joan Chittister's The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century as part of our study of Benedictine Spirituality.

I am hoping (and expecting really) that as I read the Rule I will again feel the Lord in my life and become part of the balance that Benedictines have experienced over these past 1,500 years.

And the blog entry out of no-where? It is the day before the start of the new year! By tradition the Rule has been divided so that it can be read three times through in the year. January 1 is the traditional start, and I am hoping to share this journey with others for at least the next four months. I don't expect any great insights, just a few thoughts that some might find useful, and just the knowledge that others are not alone. (Not being alone is an understatement, as there are thousands of Benedictines reading the Rule daily, but that will wait for another blog entry.)

Please watch this blog, and join me in the daily reading of the Rule of Benedict.