These people reverence God, and do not become elated over their good deeds; they judge it is God's strength, not their own, that brings about the good in them.There is much wisdom for me in the portion of the Rule today, and in Ms. Chittister's reflection. I am not called to be a solitary ascetic desert Father or Mother, as much as I may wish to compete in this area. As a 21st century Christian and oblate I am called to live among my family and coworkers, among the church members in my parish and the oblates and community I am connected with. My mother provided an example that makes sense: When I am flying in an airplane I expect the pilot of that plane to be paying attention to flying the plane, not closing her or his eyes and praying.
RoB Prologue:29 (Chittister, Pg 14)
I will be honest: This is hard for me. I read about St. Benedict and other saints (Benedictine and otherwise), I see fellow parishioners and coworkers, and I see accomplishment and honor. It is like reading about Jesus in the Gospels where we see a few great acts, but so little of Jesus and the disciples spending long days walking to the next town, talking one-on-one, just living each day. I forget that doing the laundry, preparing the monthly report at work, and being present are all about reverencing God, and all call for God's strength, not my own.
There is a portion of psalm 66 that seems appropriate:
Bless our God, you people; *I pray to remember that as I let go of my preconceived idea of what "holy" is, God will not let my feet slip.
make the voice of his praise to be heard;
who holds our souls in life, *
and will not allow our feet to slip.
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.