As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *
so longs my soul for you, O God.
First and foremost, there must be no word or sign of the evil of grumbling...
Benedict's Rule 34:6 (Chittister, Pg. 168)
Destitution and deprivation are not monastic virtues.I was traveling yesterday, up early and on the road, so I skipped the chapter in the Rule of Benedict on private ownership. In that chapter Benedict describes how in Benedictine communities there is no private ownership, all property is owned by the community. This community ownership, rather than personal ownership, is the context of the reading today. Monastics are to be provided what is needed, they are not to be destitute, nor are they to grumble about this.
Chittister, Pg. 168
This is another one of the areas where Benedict's rule, at first reading, may not seem all that relevant to those of us that are not living in full-time monastic communities. But on second thought this can be quite useful. If we hope to live a life that approaches, even a bit, the life of Jesus, it seems we must recognize that God is truly the owner of all, regardless what the deeds and titles say, and we must look to God for all we need...
A Note To Readers: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.