Yearn for everlasting life ...

Yearn for everlasting life with holy desire. RB 4:46

Benedict reminds us in this short statement that all our seeking of God will lead us to everlasting life. This is a drive underneath all other drives, an imperative of human nature which makes each one of us life-long seekers.

The beginning of the spiritual path is often an experience of conversion, an unexpected awareness of a God reality. It could be a deep awareness of God's gifts of beauty in the brilliant red color of a cardinal or the repetitive chant-song of the black-capped chickadee or an overwhelming awareness of God's unlimited love and compassion for me. This often causes a radical change of outlook and direction in life.

When you have been gifted with a life-changing taste of the goodness and love of God you often want to search deeper. The strongest experiences here on earth cannot not satisfy the yearning but makes the desire all the more intense.

If we wish to reach eternal life, even as we avoid the torments of hell, then - while there is still time, while we are in this body and have time to accomplish all these things by the light of life - we must run and do now what will profit us forever. RB Prologue 42-44

Benedict believed that monastic life could be a guide that reveals to the seeker the desire for God. He also knew that this goal would only be satisfied in eternity. His advise is simple: listen carefully - be attentive - be mindful - be aware - yearn for everlasting life. Everything that happens in this present life is meant to keep us walking on the path that leads to eternal life.

...as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love. Never swerving from God's instructions, then, but faithfully observing God's teaching in the monastery until death, we shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share in the eternal presence. Amen. RB Prologue 49