Benedictine rule

Lesson 18: God, Truth, and Reality

Lesson 18: God, Truth, and Reality

Sister Joan ended her book with a reprise of the monastic vision found in the Benedictine Rule. She emphasized it offers a practical way to live the Gospel now by discerning God’s presence in all creation. I understand that as perceiving the design running through all creation is the love we know in Jesus Christ. […]

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Lesson 14: Stability

Lesson 14: Stability

If my first attraction to the Benedictine Rule was its hospitality, my second was its stability. A pastor easily felt the impact of the mobile technology at first offered and then demanded. Children leaving town for college, exciting vocations, and big time salaries brought new opportunities. However, before long, opportunity became demand as there were […]

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Lesson 11: Giftedness

Lesson 11: Giftedness

In 2000, Robert Putnam published Bowling Alone. It has quickly become a classic for understanding modern American community. His thesis is that our nation has lost our sense of the common good, because technology inherently promotes radical individualism. He used the breakdown of voluntary groups such as bowling leagues, social clubs, fraternal organizations, and churches as […]

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Lesson 8: Work

Lesson 8: Work

The classic definition of economy was the management of the family or community that makes sure everyone is treated with dignity and has enough. We find ourselves in trouble because the model of the economy, that served us well in the past, no longer works in a technological society. That model believed work bestowed dignity […]

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Lesson 7: Balance and Moderation

Lesson 7: Balance and Moderation

The first thing mentioned by my class in Montgomery County, Maryland was how the Rule mandated treating work tools just as meticulously as worship articles. The group was surprised that a monastic community would think work was as important as worship. One of the members referred to the 31st article that reads, “Regard all utensils […]

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Lesson 6: Humility

Lesson 6: Humility

My first response to Sister Joan remains that she seems to be writing about the self-evident. My second is she confronts exactly what is wrong with our present society. Her take on humility that she designates as the lost virtue is a perfect example. Once you examine what she, Benedict, and Jesus say about humility, […]

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Lesson 5: God’s Presence

Lesson 5: God’s Presence

I really experienced what St. Benedict meant about the importance of conversation in any Christian community while teaching Sunday School last week. I was pointing out how much Luke-Acts associated the Holy Spirit with speaking boldly. A good one-third of this action-packed history, over 300 of its 1000 verses, are speeches. Some participants responded by […]

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Lesson 3: New Models

Lesson 3: New Models

A change seems to have taken place in the relationship between church and society. Although it was long coming, most of us did not pay much attention until the recent presidential campaign. It was taken for granted that church and society had a congenial working relationship. Many even spoke of the church as the cutting edge […]

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Lesson 2: Church Community in History

Lesson 2: Church Community in History

Let’s take a quick look at various kinds of Christian community that have been practiced in our history. Most forms that served well in one period no longer worked in later ones, at least not in their original shapes. Even though I am only capable of offering a rough account, I hope to supply some […]

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