You strengthen me more and more; *
you enfold and comfort me,
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre for your faithfulness, O my God; *
I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, *
and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
The eighth step of humility is that we do only what is endorsed by the common rule of the monastery and the example set by the prioress or abbot.
Benedict's Rule 7:55 (Chittister, Pg. 92)
It is so simple to become a law unto ourselves. The problem with it is that it leaves us little chance to be carried by others.I don't know if this what others find, but for myself an ongoing theme of my spiritual path is remembering to get out of my own way. Could this be a theme in some other peoples lives? I expect so. Many other peoples lives? That I don't know. Regardless staying out of my own way is one of the stones on the path of my journey that I stub my toes on regularly. So how does this "common rule of the monastery" help me?
Chittister, Pg. 93
Here we visit the concept of community yet again. And again we see (or at least I see) the same answer: The family we are in, the work situation we are in, our church family, and for those of us studying and discerning the Community of Hope here at St. George's, each other. Each of these has shared expectations and goals. In each of these communities we all care for each other. And as Christians we have responsibility to care for all, regardless of community, regardless of shared expectations...
Getting back to the stone in my path of life, perhaps community is like walking down a sidewalk and stubbing our toe. We don't just leave the stone we stub our toe on in the path of others for them to trip over, we, hopefully, bend down and move the stone out of the way...
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, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.
Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book.
Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.
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