Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jan 8 - Living in a Cenobitic Way

"You are my God, and I will thank you; *
you are my God, and I will exalt you."
Psalm 118:28

First there are the cenobites, that is to say, those who belong to a monastery, where they serve under a rule and an abbot or prioress...
Third, there are sarabaites...
1:2, 6 (Chittister, Pg 27, 29)

My thought, as I read this yet again, is how much I need a leader. While I am not a monk, I am a church member and an oblate and I have chosen to join others in communities, communities with spiritual leaders and guides. I find it all too easy for me to off on my own, to decide for myself what is holy, what is good. When I decide for myself I tend to pick the easy as holy. As I read further in Sr. Joan's reflection I find more of the rule: "Their [Sarabaites] law is what they like to do, whatever strikes their fancy. Anything they believe in and choose, they call holy; anything they dislike, they consider forbidden." (Rule 1:9)

I put myself in the structure and surroundings of our school of spiritual learning, I seek the guidance of others to hold me accountable. I am striving to live in a cenobitic way, one of those who "are seekers of the spiritual life...(to) live with others --and are not a law unto themselves (Chittister, Pg 25). As I read Sr. Joan's reflections I find depth, words, advice, in almost every sentence. I learn that "In monastic spirituality, there is no escape from life, only a chance to confront it, day after day in all its sanctifying tedium and blessed boredom and glorious agitation in the communities of which we are a part at any given moment of our lives." (Pg 27)

A prayer: "Lord Jesus: Please agitate me, help me live my life in your service."

A Note To Anyone Reading:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, Crossroads, 2010. Unless stated otherwise I am using the translation St. Benedict's Rule from her book. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading Ms. Chittister's book and to anyone that is interested.

Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.

Comments are welcome, and encouraged, please use the blog comment feature.

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