Living the Zeal of Benedict

a blog by Sister Marilyn Schauble, OSB

2016 Community Jubilee Celebration

Where charity and love are found,
there will the face of God be seen.
The love of Christ will bind our hearts;
as one body we will be.

(2003 - Where Love Is Found
- Dan Schutte, OCP)

The Benedictine spirituality of community
is based on life with other persons in the spirit of Christ:
to support them,
to empower them,
and to learn from them.

In Benedictine spirituality,
community is a very human thing.
It is not perfection that is expected but growth.

In community
we work out our connectedness to God,
to one another,
and to ourselves.
It is in community
where we find out who we really are.

Alone, we are what we are,
but in community
we have the chance of becoming everything we can be.
(1990 - Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
- Joan Chittister - Harper & Row)

Let us follow the prophet's counsel: "I said, I have resolved to keep watch over my ways that I may never sin with my tongue. (Ps. 39:2)." RB 6:1

John Cassian, one of Benedict's sources, says that a monastic's calling to seek "nothing other than the vision and contemplation of divine purity ... can be acquired only by silence."

Words can heal, affirm, confirm, and strengthen our relationships with others. They can also be a source of separation, tearing-down, and pain. In this chapter of the Rule Benedict is strongly suggesting that choosing what to say and when to say it is very important for each monastic. What will I choose today - words of compassion, healing, peace, care, concern, inclusion, affirmation?

May my words send good, harmonious vibrations into the world, the universe and beyond.

The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all. RB 5:1-2

Unhesitating obedience is a radical demand and calls for a radical response. This type of obedience comes from the heart and is rooted in listening to God. We strive to let go of our superficial desires and listen with the ear of the heart. We listen to God so that we know how to respond in love to God’s will. This type of listening helps us experience an interior freedom.

Every day I work on experiencing inner freedom.

How are you doing?

April 4
Ever-creating God, we witness your love in the expression of Benedictine life. As we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Benedict, may we be ever-mindful of Benedictine influence in past ages, and may our continued commitment give hope to oppressed peoples who seek peace and justice. We pray in praise of your holy name now and forever. Amen.

April 3
O God, you wondrously inspired Benedict to show us the way to life by his faithfulness to the Spirit. Grant that through his intercession we may also persevere. We pray in praise of your holy name now and forever. Amen.