Today, we begin another journey through the Rule of St. Benedict. But this time, we will explore key themes rather than moving sequentially through the chapters. To do this, we will follow the outline given us by Esther de Waal in her excellent book, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict (Liturgical Press, revised edition, 2001).
I’ve made the decision to continue the examination of The Rule, because as I have pondered it over an extended period of time, I have come to agree with those who believe that it is a classic pattern for spiritual formation—a “voice” that speaks a much-needed word into the time in which we live.
Kathleen Norris wrote the Preface to the book, and she highlights several significant elements before we even enter into the text of the book itself…
(1) “Benedictine spirituality is grounded in the idea that God’s presence is everywhere, and that it is our job to seek it out, remembering that the material and the spiritual are not distinct and separate realms, but that even our most ordinary manual work ‘is to be a constant reminder of the reality of the Incarnation.'”
(2) “I was spinning my wheels until I encountered Benedict’s conviction that genuine spirituality is not an individual pursuit, but must be anchored in one’s local community.”
(3) “It is Christ I am seeking, after all, and it is Christ who looks for me, ‘the whole Christ seeking the whole person.'”
We’re in for a rich experience as we pass through The Rule for a second time, allowing God to speak to us through the words of this powerful book.