Living the Zeal of Benedict by Marilyn Schauble

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Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

My Feet

Thu, 2020-04-09 21:52

My feet
are homeless
are lonely
stand in endless lines:
unemployment, soup kitchens

My feet
carry the weight of hunger
of addiction
of mental health challenges
of physical disabilities
of being an immigrant, a refugee

My feet
are a different color
a different gender
are a different culture
believe in a different god

My feet
are angry
are anchored in fear
rely on more guns
more division

My feet
are sad
are isolated
are devastated
may die alone

My feet
pursue our right
to clean air and water
to work for non-violence
to witness hope

Have you washed these feet?

Do you understand what I have done for you? You address me as "teacher," and fitting enough, for that is what I am. If I have washed your feet - I who am teacher - then you must wash each other's feet. What I just did was to give you an example. As I have done, so you must do.

John 13:12-15

A Better Place

Mon, 2020-04-06 08:36

If we are more generous and loving,
wiser and more compassionate,
less angry and fearful,
then of course
the world around us
will be a better place.

Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of Saint Benedict
Norman Fischer
Joseph Goldstein
Judith Simmer-Brown
Ed. Patrick Henry

Fast from ... Feast on

Sat, 2020-03-28 20:07

Fast from judging others,
feast on looking for connection.

Fast from emphasis on differences,
feast on what you have in common.

Fast from fears of illness,
feast on thoughts of wellness.

Fast from words that pollute,
feast on words that bless.

Fast from irritation,
feast on gratitude.

Fast from worry,
feast on what is not broken.

Fast from complaining,
feast on acknowledgement.

Fast from bitterness,
feast on letting it go.

Fast from discouragement,
feast on hope.

Fast from idle gossip,
feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from lists of losses,
feast on receiving comfort and support.

Fast from concerns that overwhelm,
feast on the prayers of your heart.

Novena of Benedict - March 20

Fri, 2020-03-20 07:01

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.

Novena of Benedict - March 19

Wed, 2020-03-18 18:34

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

Novena of Benedict - March 18

Tue, 2020-03-17 18:34

God, our Creator,
we are full of gratitude for your many blessings.
May we continue our journey to you,
following in the footsteps of Benedict
– emptying ourselves for others.
May we be gift for others.
We pray in praise of your holy name
now and forever.

Novena of Benedict - March 17

Mon, 2020-03-16 18:41

God, our Sustainer,
we come before you asking that you strengthen us.
On this day we celebrate Patrick
as we continue to prepare for the solemnity of Benedict.
Through the intercession of Benedict, and Patrick
may we be impelled to participate in healing ministries
which bring peace and justice to all.
We pray in praise of your holy name
now and forever.

Novena of Benedict - March 16

Mon, 2020-03-16 13:24

Raise up, O God,
in the church the spirit that animated Benedict,
that filled with the same spirit
we may love what he loved
and practice what he taught.
We pray in praise of your holy name
now and forever.

Novena of Benedict - March 15

Sat, 2020-03-14 20:03

Eternal God,
you favored Benedict with the spirit
of wisdom and understanding.
Grant that we may also be sanctified
by these virtues.
We pray in praise of your holy name
now and forever.

Novena of Benedict - March 14

Sat, 2020-03-14 10:32

Ever-loving God,
you blessed Benedict in grace and in name.
We ask you to bless us as conversion becomes reality in our lives.
May we be dedicated to rebirth and growth
in union with Christ and the Spirit.
We pray in praise of your holy name
now and forever.

Novena of Benedict - March 13

Thu, 2020-03-12 18:36

Ever-faithful God,
the wondrous learnings of Benedict
enlighten the Church.
Grant that we may understand his teaching
and follow his example.
We pray in praise of your holy name
now and forever.

Novena of Benedict - March 12

Wed, 2020-03-11 21:49

God of Mercy and Love,
in his day Benedict fulfilled the needs of the Church.
Grant that through his intercession, we too,
may listen attentively to the promptings
of the Spirit for today’s Church.
We pray in praise of your holy name now and forever.

Lent II

Mon, 2020-03-09 15:20

The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous lent. Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this season the negligences of other times. RB 49:1-3

Lent is the model for the whole life of those who follow Benedict.
He indicates that the practices taken on during Lent
changing our behaviors
devoting ourselves to prayer with tears
extra reading
additional service to others
abstinence from food or drink
less talking and idle jesting
could spill over into the other days and seasons of our lives.

Benedict asks each one of us to try especially hard during the season of Lent
to improve the quality of our spiritual lives
so that each and every day might be filled with Easter joy and spiritual longing.


Mon, 2020-02-24 15:12

The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent. Rule of Benedict 49:1

The integrity of who we proclaim to be ought to have a Lenten quality.

Lent, according to the popular view, is a portion of the year given over to fasting, abstinence and ascesis (practices) of self-discipline which emphasize "giving up."

For Benedict Lent has a wider and deeper meaning. He is speaking of a Lent of the spirit. Each person's life is to be spent seeking a meaningful union with God. As the union intensifies it manifests itself in acts of charity. According to Benedict, viewing Lent in this way means EVERY DAY ought to have a Lenten quality. The implication is that what happens in Lent also applies in principle throughout the year.

Humility 1.5

Mon, 2020-02-17 15:18

The ladder erected is our life on earth, and if we humble our hearts God will raise it to heaven. (7:8)

While it is true that God is the principal actor in spiritual growth, Benedict never underestimates the importance of our contribution. Spirituality and the Way of Benedict are a means of entering into the fullness of life. External behavior often points to our inner life and hopefully our inner life shapes our external behavior. Virtue occurs when the inner life and outer life meet to form an authentic expression of our spiritual existence.


Sat, 2020-02-08 09:14


Sing Scholastica's fair story sing a strong and holy life.
As a young and true disciple she took up the noble strife
joining other holy women against the evils which were rife.

Honoring in her heart all nature, earth and water, fire and air.
She as God's own faithful daughter told the story of God's care
to her sisters as they gathered joined in listening, song and prayer.

Knowing God to be the author of the soul's desire to pray,
Benedict's twin sister ever with her brother shared the way
of the Holy Rule each striving to reflect the Spirit's ray.

Taught by God, she grew in wisdom, gave strong counsel to the weak,
holding work and prayer in balance time for silence, time to speak.
May we follow her example and with her God's presence seek.

Poem/Text by Elizabeth Morris Downie
Oblate of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery


Wed, 2020-01-22 14:53

Every exaltation is a kind of pride. RB 7:2

Benedict is giving us a life principle: any form of self-exaltation is a barrier between us and God.

When everything is going smoothly, when we are feeling self-sufficient, God can be far from our consciousness, even distant. We usually discover God in hard times. Our own limitations push us to look beyond human resources for a solution to our discomfort. Benedict is reminding us that we do not usually find God when the going is good. Seeking for certainty elsewhere can limit our awareness of the ever-present love, compassion and faithfulness of God.

Christmas Blessings

Tue, 2019-12-24 09:48

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "O Holy Night." I find the text inspiring and at the same time challenging. Consider spending a little Lectio / reflection time on each of the verses. From this night "breaks a new and glorious morn." "Christ is born to be our friend." "Truly he taught us to love one another." May this holy season remind us that Christ's "law is love ... and in his name all oppression shall cease."

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
till he appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
with glowing hearts, by the cradle we stand.
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
here came the wise men from the Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
in all our trials born to be our friend.

Fall on your knees!
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine!

Truly he taught us to love one another.
His law is love and his Gospel is peace.
Chains shall he break,
for the slave is our brother,
and in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we.
Let all within us praise his holy name.

Fall on your knees!
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine!

(O Holy Night - 1847 by Adolphe Adam)