Benedict’s Rule: Scriptural Foundation

The heightened awareness which we looked at last week is by no means some kind of spiritualized “stream of consciousness” in the Rule of Benedict.  We only have to open it and suddenly we find ourselves led into a world of Scripture.

It’s clear that the opening words, “Listen carefully, my son….” are an invitation to listen to the Bible.  An invitation to become Scripture-saturated men and women.  That’s why lectio divina (individual and corporate) so quickly became an intersection between reading and praying.  In a very real sense, true prayer is always “praying the scriptures.”  And that means we have to keep discovering what the Bible says, what it means, and how it calls us to live.

De Waal is absolutely correct: “St. Benedict’s essential aim is to make Scripture a living experience for his community with all the means at his disposal” (p. 33).

She goes on….”the Rule stands firm in its relentless demand that we listen to the Word, that we never fail to remember that the Word remains our point of reference” (pp. 33-34).

Yes….the “Word” is an I not an it.  The Word is Christ.  But the revelation of him comes to us through the Bible.  So, the Rule of Benedict is saturated with scripture, and in being such it calls us to become scripture-saturated people.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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