By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.
As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the mist of that land.
Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the community members should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.
Benedict's Rule 48:1 (Chittister, Pg. 211)
The function of the spiritual life is not to escape into the next world; it is to live well in this one.Yes, there are times I want to escape. There are times I have wanted the joys of "the next world". It is important to be reminded of the balance of living now -- Doing work and growing spiritually right here in our world. When I hold tightly to control, try and schedule everything, and worry and put myself down for not doing everything I schedule for myself, life is difficult. When I relax, let go, and keep prayer, study, work, and recreation in balance joy becomes a common part of my life.
Chittister, Pg. 211
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.