Living the Zeal of Benedict by Marilyn Schauble

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Updated: 21 min 56 sec ago

Humility 1.2

Fri, 2019-11-01 14:50

The image of a ladder shows us steps along the way in which humility can manifests itself over many years of living. There will be variations from the general plan, but the process remains similar for most people. Benedict's presentation of humility is primarily descriptive and not prescriptive. Benedict do not name humility as a virtue. For him humility is an interior quality. The steps of humility are like milestones on the road toward God. Benedict reminds us that we are not "to be be called holy before you really are, but first be holy that you may more truly be called so" (RB 4:62). Keep the goals of purity of heart and perfect love always before you and just keep walking.

Humility 1.1

Thu, 2019-10-24 11:39

The root of the Latin word humilitas is humus: earth, soil, being connected with the earth, down to earth, grounded.

There are two obvious precursors to the Rule of Benedict: the writings of John Cassian, The Institutes and The Rule of the Master. For Cassian once vices have been expelled the virtues bear fruit and grow. When virtues abounds purity of heart is acquired. With purity of heart the perfection of love is possessed. The Rule of the Master, inspired by Cassian, used the visual concept of a ladder to mark the progress toward the possession of love.

Benedict copied most of The Rule of the Master for his chapter on Humility, adding and subtracting to coincide with his own belief system. In The Rule of the Master the ascent via a ladder of humility lands one in heaven and in God's love after death. Benedict's ascent via a ladder of humility lands one on earth and in God's love here and now. Benedict is more focused on the earthly reality of being influenced by the Gospel teaching on the primacy of love. For him the experience of receiving and giving unconditional love is possible during this earthly life.

Might this be a clue as to why Benedict regards his teachings as a "way of life" (Prologue 20)?

Hail Mary

Mon, 2019-10-07 14:12

Blessings on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Enjoy this brief recording of the sisters singing
HAIL MARY by Mary David Callahan, OSB.

Therese of Lisieux

Tue, 2019-10-01 11:19

Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice,
here by a smiling look,
there by a kindly word;
always doing the smallest right
and doing it all for love.

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart;
it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trial and joy.

Spiritual Craft

Wed, 2019-09-25 15:52

These, then, are the tools of the spiritual craft. When we have used them without ceasing day and night and have returned them on the day of judgment our wages will be the reward God has promised: "What the eye has not seen nor the ear heard, God has prepared for those who love (1 Cor. 2:9)." The workshop where we are to toil faithfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery and stability in the community. RB 4: 75-78

Stability is
+ fundamental for Benedict
+ a call and a gift
+ a spiritual attitude which makes possible the perseverance of living a good life
+ a way of life in which one will engage in good works in a spirit of truthfulness and self-honesty
+ motivated by a sincere, gentle, and self-forgetful love

God's Mercy

Fri, 2019-09-06 11:12

Never lose hope in God's mercy. RB 4:74

I suspect there are very few of us who could say we have accomplished all 74 "tools" in this chapter. Most of us are more aware of how much we individually need to do to really live with the Gospel and the Rule as our guide. We cannot do this on our own. We rely on God's grace, and where we have failed we rely on God's mercy and forgiveness. When all is said and done, we can only hope that the choices we make and the way we live our lives might be a sign to others of God's grace, mercy and forgiveness.


Tue, 2019-08-06 10:57

O burning mountain, O chosen sun.
O perfect moon, O fathomless well.
O unattainable height, O unattainable light.
O clearness beyond all measure.
O wisdom, without end, O mercy without limit.
O strength beyond resistance, O crown of all majesty.
The humblest thing you created sings your praise. AMEN!
(Mechtild of Magdeburg)

The heavens proclaim
- This is my Beloved, my Chosen One.
Listen to him.

Peace before sunset

Sat, 2019-07-27 11:46

If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with her/him before the sun goes down. RB 4:73

This particular "tool" is probably based on Ephesians 4:26: "Be angry but do not sin [Psalm 4:4]; do not let the sun set on your anger." Quarreling, disputes and misunderstandings inevitably arise in living with others. If we let them fester, they will most likely interfere with daily living. Christ promised happiness to those who make peace (Matthew 5:9). When a dispute occurs one or the other party has to take the initiative and move toward reconciliation. If I am not prepared to return to peace, my greeting of peace will be dishonest. Peace will not happen on its own. I must step back, reflect, pray and acknowledge my participation in the misunderstanding. It is then that I can discover my way to bring authentic peace to the situation.

Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe!