Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict, Sept. 6, 2016

Prologue continued

Jan. 6 – May 7 – Sept. 6

So, brothers and sisters, we have asked the Lord

who is to dwell in His tent,

and we have heard His commands

to anyone who would dwell there;

it remains for us to fulfill those duties.

Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies

to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands;

and let us ask God

that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace

for anything which our nature finds hardly possible.

And if we want to escape the pains of hell

and attain life everlasting,

then, while there is still time,

while we are still in the body

and are able to fulfill all these things

by the light of this life,

we must hasten to do now

what will profit us for eternity.

Some thoughts by Gloriamarie

For those who have accepted God’s invitation, we must then prepare

ourselves for what comes next. How do we do that? We ask God! God not only invites us, He also makes it possible for us to become what He invited us to. Benedict tells us how important this is with

images such as “pains of hell”, “life everlasting”, “eternity”. What

is it “we must hasten to do now”? We must ask God for His help.

Could Benedict have envisioned anything simpler?

I wonder, though, if the sophisticated society in which we live has

made it more difficult for us to give ourselves to God? Now that we

know about meteorology, tectonic plates, psychology, medicine, germs, etc how much harder it is for us to see God as the root cause of all things, as they did back in the day when the RB was written? Doesn’t God seem somehow separate from cause and effect of everyday life?

The word “sophistication” has an interesting etymology in classical

Greek. The Greek word “sophis” of course is related to “wise” and to

be honest, I forget just this minute what the other Greek word is, but

the gist of the 2 in combination is something like “jaded to the

things of the gods”. So already in the days of Socrates and Plato,

Euripides and Sophocles, there were already people who thought they knew so much, they didn’t need their gods. Do any of us wish to be sophisticated in that sense? I don’t.

The questions the Rule asks of us every day are:

Will I offer myself to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit today?

How do I offer myself to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit today?


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