Monday, August 28, 2006

Rule of St. Benedict and the NLM

In the comments box on the post, "What the world is waiting for", an interesting discussion has been triggered which looks at the greater breadth of issues we face in our Christian pilgrimage.

Thinking about this topic, I am struck by two thoughts.

One is that it would be beautiful if, as part of working for a new liturgical movement, that we should take the effort to read a bit of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict each day (it is freely available online as well), to gather together this Benedictine sense of the importance and excellence of liturgical worship through the Mass and the Office, the life of prayer and spiritual reading, and the acts of fraternity, hospitality and the life of the beatitudes.

What a foundation this would indeed be. There have been books as well written about adopting the Rule into the lay life; the life of family -- the domestic monastery. I believe one such is by Dwight Longenecker -- I haven't read it personally.

Another thought struck me in Stephen's post. Some of you may be familiar with Madonna House in my own province of Ontario, Canada, founded by the venerable Catherine Doherty. Madonna House combines the ideal of ora et labora with a mixture of the religious and lay life; East and West; active life and contemplative life, intellectual formation and the hard work of tilling the earth. Quite interesting and rich.

(A "Poustinia" at Madonnna House)

(St. Benedict's Acres at Madonna House)

What a wonderful expression that would be in the context as well as the classical Roman liturgy, not to mention the reform of the reform and Byzantine liturgy.

At any rate, I am in earnest about the Holy Rule of Benedict. I would implore people to pick it up and read a little bit each day.

I wonder indeed what fruits it might bear in our efforts to restore all things in Christ? To restore the sacred liturgy, the social teachings of the Church, our families, our parishes, etc.

It's an interesting thought.

The Rule of St. Benedict

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