Monastic Spirituality for the Christian in the World

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Monastic Spirituality for the Christian in the World

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sure we had explored a bit job in the previous cartridge that fundamental dialectic between community and solitude and with that niche first of all very mature scripture and a place shop out down through the monastic a decade and century
should you can really do a history of when asked if you should just in terms of how each monastic community relate those two and we shot it in the rural it it doesn't from up one particular a pattern but allows for a free need play and then allows
every community in every monk to work it out according to the spirit in that particular moment
a personal sharing for a big these fish and gap after i got to sure how recommend a leash of work it out and i think it is unique and does distinguish as as the best of the congregation guy
but we do at
we do out the full range from the rural hermitage that once very explicitly to underline solitude and then we have a rural monastery or synovium and that in a rural said setting wants to give space to community and then from the very big
getting of our heritage we have the urban community urban synovium so there's that for ranch and also within the hermitage we usually start with giving more space to community for our young monks information but then as one journeys on some will be drawn into more and more solid
jude and as possible and the final stage can be temporary recruiting or indeed permanent vacation when when just stage and one's individual cottage or a self
the architecture of our hermitage up at big surprise since expresses this a dialectic their each monk has its own individual cottage so it's like a little christian village and that's you need that was why he holds great revolution because the rule says explicitly
the monks or to given a common dorm not what even to have an individual room and but the ronald says that very all good and well for the rule until we follow the rule we modify that and shade know every is to have not only his own room but his own cottage and this goes back
to the first forms of monasticism in the desert with the desert hermits
ah ah well we can
i think they have bought that is somewhere in caves and somewhere in biddle hush that they would construct both and me
so all this wants to be an outer and visible sign for all of us how do we make space for obvious we found this wise to have the full range because in a lifetime and we live longer these days in a lifetime up in a certain period of one's life the hermitage might be
better for a certain phase and that's where one really flourishes but we don't want in a sort of lot one into that for the rest of his or her life and so there might be a period when one's drawn into more community or vice versa more ruben community etc so the architectural structure and the
different houses in quite different locations with different of configurations want to honor this whole range of possibilities in the interplay of solitude and community
we have this little rule of thumb that only the person who can serenely lived his or her solitude can live well community if you're terrified of your inner solitude and are just always with people because it's a flight that's not going to be a real community your living
and the opposite is the case only dogs who serenely and happily can move community can serenely and well we have solid to that's a way of discerning if someone asks for reclusive that they're just trying to get away from the problems of community that isn't the time to give more solitude
but the time to engage in a healthier way in community and again i think this is the case for any community and family in a person
so to teachings of our lord two exhortations get then are there throughout the monastic years and in a certain sense i think characterized the monastic harrison if particular way as every other tissue tourism are
contrition and love you remember right there at the beginning at the very beginning of our lord's earthly ministry what does you preach repent for the kingdom of god is at hand this is mark one so this is right there at the beginning and this is just a direct echo
of john the baptist's message repent for the kingdom of heaven is chapin cervical scholars say this was one strong indication how of emphatically jesus was influenced by john the baptist and if we take john is the credit photo monastic figure remember the john was in the shadow of coomera
i'm and this is very much a komarov message we have our lord's fundamental first off message as a monastic message and we want to take very seriously that exhortation to repent
met annoying kid are basically the green beans term direction turn around one hundred and eighty degrees and go back and quite a different action show each the basic biblical image of journey but instead journey away from the covenant and it's requirements of journey
away from the lord turn around and go back
this isn't very big for us the be decades of self affirmation and self esteem and i'm okay you're okay this seems like a i put down like up massachusetts etc but i think at its best it's just truth it's just reality
some of those deep and heavy of issues we were exploring last night there is evil in the world that's just who it is tragic tragically and if not just over there with that person with a hitler or stalin or whoever to be over there but it is
is in my heart if i'm looking at all closer to the situation and it's not just put in me that i have to unfortunately repeated the victim until i free myself up to some therapy workshop or something of the evil and my heart is not just in so far as i'm victim of mommy or
daddy was recent powerful a protests or if these years against pop psychology adage worst which makes it's just a nation to victims were all victimized by mommy and daddy an older brother said the older sister
he can be just that it as to be i'm in my freedom with we're saying last night we accept that fundamental tenet of the profits of jesus that we are responsible for the things we do the things we don't do i think it all of our tradition
oops sorry we start out butter cheese was some kind of acknowledgement of this some type of confession of sin to one in the prayer book i think is particularly eloquent
we confess that we have send against you in thought word and deed by what we have done and by what we have left undone
we can't come up with any prayers and permission we have not about you with our whole heart we have not not our neighbors at ourselves interestingly be to the focuses on our lord's to full command as the basic criterion for correct living abroad and say we just don't measure up it's a
light-filled but it's something another way of very demanding job and we don't measure up to acknowledge that is the beginning step if we don't acknowledge that we're in trouble that's why the pharisees were extremely sincere extremely of rigorous religious folk of work there in that moment cause
is it wasn't possible for them to repent to experience that compunction that contrition so there's a whole wonderful exploration of the monastic carriage and that simply of titled pencils which is the greek for contrition for repentance
for a grieving for humility for now a turning back and heading in obedience back to where we come on where we have wandered from through disobedience that's where at the very beginning remember the prologue benedick starts out he himself cause use monks to
of repentance she met biblical sense of a turning around and then headed totally different direction that by the labour of obedience you may return to km from whom you had departed by the slope of disobedience
so it's a very biblical image it's straight out of the parable of the prodigal son who to disobedience distances himself from the father and then in that moment of insight and repentance gets up and he returns
typical scholars say that that one to that sums up the whole gospel it's all about humanity and in some mysterious way the prodigal son yes jesus who he met wonderful him philippians emptied himself and distances himself from the fathers
house now for our sake makes himself finn and then with the suffering and death and resurrection returns to the father's house and allows us all to journey with him what does he find as he approaches the by themselves you find is attentive of bob this expectation
in compassion university in pardon
that's the whole monastic things so the first exhortations to repent
up for a very precise reason this eschatological moment and the second is above the to for command to love love the lord your god with all your heart mind and soul and strength this simply because having repented having received as free gift of pardoning love them just spread it around
with the all the parables in that regard how can you would received so much party compassion mercy not sure to rub the others who have as much need from guard from you so sam bennett and having exhorted us to return to the father them basic
the have to do is to photo our lord's to full command he met wonderful chapter fourteen she said something a workshop for the monk and such our basic tools and prioritizes these tools in the first one in the first place to love about your got your whole heart of on swollen segment above your neighbor as
just so this is some the basic task of the monk so in the course of the rural there's all kinds of other things the monk has to do but this is the task within every other task this is the heart of the matter of any particular job and if
not doing this well as st paul says very emphatically the and thirteen all of the other stuff is just ban tv show where they were beating ourselves well on that singing the canticles marvelously or i'm setting up the refectory well whatever if this isn't the
heart of the matter we failed as monks so these two things these two dispositions apart these two virtues these two activities in are again shifted participation in the life of christ himself
yeah humility now bugs us loves the father with his useful heart mind soul and strength there is for the monk always the christological reading of every text of scripture also have every expectation of christ whenever christ tells us to do that's not just
arbitrary world with some like the your mother superior said well to this you do that we have can think but it comes out of a whole experience of the divine life with christ has this is what trinity is all about so he shares with us what he is doing what his ministry is all about that
pascrell lives industry is all about so greater love has no one the mist to lay down one's life for one's friends so christ is a great lover christ is the bridegroom christ is the budding friend so what were to do now is simply to
wow this to march to live this contrite bob
a great patron saint for all of this is the great feminine figure in the new testament mary magdalen or any of those women who anointed christ with a boil with their tears jack referred to this this is the concrete powder series of so
signs that express that contrite love which is the heart of the monastic terrorism
these two verbs repent and love also have two wonderful of substantives repentance and love and so we are meant to be substantive we are meant to be bird we're meant to be and to do
this wonderful debate theological debate on whether it's mainly a doing with it constitutes the christian life or a being and i get to benedictine approaches it's both and and we need to go back to the the substance of the matter and be there and then that wants to bear fruit
yeah i'm not doing this be doers of the boy did not hear something
so are all of this is simply in response for the rural what can be sweeter to us to your bread and than his voice of the lord inviting us it's our vocation it's all call behold it his loving kindness the board shows us the way of life
it comes out of this loving kindness we've strayed we've gotten off the road in that wonderful love image of sheep's dream but the lord calls us back and the shoot know the voice of the shepherd and that we perceive above there and so then we can
but salt ours is a journey back to the father and it's very laborious back to the loving mother also in all those important passages of of the old testament that we're now recovering and so we journey in it's often a heavy journey but it becomes wider hopefully and of the
in were running the whole of nature of our advancement empty christian life and the monastic life is
is this journey for as we advance in the religious life says embedded in the same prologue and in faith our hearts expand we come to run the way of god's commandments with the unspeakable sweetness of above
so this is the heart of the matter here it's become are not heavy exhortation to perfection it's also that but it's this wonderful sweetness of love because love is also this so recalled simply to abide in god's love
and to journey at the same time and see that that's the dialectic of stability and
conversion of life cooker sucks your modem
then it it brings all this together in a lovely exhortation preferred nothing to the love of christ
preferred nothing to the love of christ
that love of christ is that the of subjective genitive is that the love which christ shows to awesome pours out and dump as with what is that are loving of crisis if the object agenda for it's bulge and it starts out with that receiving of the
love because the lord first law does but then it's responding and we prefer nothing to base on so then if very much wants us to prioritize should we put his first were all right
of the suggestion they should in fact we very often put other things first be like ninety percent of the times and never remember but to turn around again and to return true christian through repentance or compunction humility obedience that whole cluster
choose in the lord to then love to then show mercy compassion tenderness that whole cluster of ways of being and seven and all this in christ and so also our doors to full command has brought together in this blessing simplicity to love the lord our god
without our hearts go in without christ up we have a fall chalcedony christology it's certainly on do that he didn't know the print that other day that achieve
that job can have that credo fate we know that christ is god and god light of light so in love in christ and loving also the suffering servant him his anguish and suffering we are loving god and so we are of loving the suffering in god on the something sir
and but christ is also son of man christ use of the new adam and imbibing christ we love all of humanity and this not just some kind of pious and the middle of nishi way out but as we have heard in today's gospel matthew twenty five this is also injunction
this is also not just in sentiment in emotion but whenever we see the hungary your the naked through the sip we see christ and thus to love them in word and deed and not just dumb him sentiment or in profession
so this kind of is again the task within every task and it's the motive for everything is now we look at the structure of the rule why did and it it's structure that well that way will ultimately somehow out of contract love than will look at the structure of the day why
that structure by that amount of time to luxor why that amount of time to worship why that balance from that rhythm out of tried love so hopefully whatever we do will come out of that part of the matter the flight again vectors that permit us to have located on
the center of it all and then we are on target
the great modification said you always gotta know where you're going and what is your ultimate goal and what is your immediate goal if you know that than and every moment you could discern well am i off the track for rabbi but he has various ways of summing up what is the immediate goal in what is the older but his shot on
i'm here for simply young characters pura it's a pure charity that's why we do any immediate thing like listen to this content to reflect on it or whatever and that's our ultimate goal the fullness yes the young
the a great marriage feast which is the kingdom so this is a way of bringing it all together in that blessing simplicity
so the structure of the rule at the time of the rule of st benedict the up need six century there are about two dozen other rooms floating around and it wasn't it always if the rule of benedict immediately imposed itself and it's interesting to get in touch with some of these other rooms that gave us rule with them
master is stuff almost the same time
now some of these rules focus almost entirely on just particular we are regulations and decrease and specifications others are very theological others to a certain mixture of the to well the rule of st benedict once both both and and all this again
is so as a patient to us if we want to think what about my own rule of life use their one there very often there is one at least implicitly but can bring it out and explore it and she'll get my want a few amendments or revamp things well but benedick proposes is a rule that huh
hans basic theological digital principles into the foundation and then on those big solid building blocks has smaller stones which are the fundamental elements specifically of the monastic and then on that with smaller stones still have the particular on
dispositions that he proposes so it's a very
articulated rule in addition that he as in some of the other rules confuses the huge basic things for which we should be willing to die with the little particular a proposals up which we should be immediately willing to set aside or indeed to judge as some not
not healthy not courage or benefit is readily exhorting us to do the children and the community that wouldn't be our approach today for it
he has a model of authority get something and patriarchal and would just be inevitable in that time of the late roman empire which was very emphatically patriarchal where the father of the family had the power of life and death over wife and go for kids and certainly over slaves
was that was just the way you saw things well that doesn't necessarily be next the way we have to see things today whether the monastic community or in the parish or family or within that we have to have capitulate so fully to the superego or something if we want to carry on
dialogue with the psychological so there are some things that are absolutely reprehensible in the rural as that wonderful document of renewal of the english benedictines consider your call notes your other things that will stand for all eternity and for which we should be willing to die so
the structure is even there and the way it's laid out
and first of all there's the prologue and that is substantial that is foundation and biblical scholars feel get that's very likely simply a baptismal catechism the benedick took over and put it the beginning of at all obvious is the feast
this is a great deal of the administrators some wonderful because everyone here is bow we are bound by our baptismal vows and so the rule begins just with these baptismal vows and their implications stove out a very biblical imagery and an
types are basically listening to the word of god rising up journey with christ churning back to the kinda in the spirit it's very dynamic it's very pascoe it's very trinitarian crystal century
this for this we should be willing to dive and so if you want to read the rule doesn't mean you have to read every chapter with the same attention in that same conserve certainly read the prologue very slowly and very carefully and all that should be able to be interior eyes and claimed
personally in one way or another
so first of all we at the prologue then we have a long road section that includes are
the general monastic principles chapter one to seven basic things like the kind of monks the qualities of the abbot summoning the brethren chapter holy obedience these are the large stones on top of the huge foundational stones and that is specifically monastic been
but specifically monastic more or less for any benedictine community
and then you get into more particular prescriptions and as benedick regularly indicate their your baby adaptation according to the season according to the condition they health of a monk or whatever legislation in the stricter sense dean sellers the measure of food a chapter
rate through seventy one and that's interesting and it's important and it should not likely be tossed out by monks though it might be fairly quickly got many parts set aside by people within the baptismal vows but then you get the
fine over combination with this wonderful owed to fraternal charity which is chapter seventy two and that should be looked at very carefully it seems to me it is the basic shape that are perry should have that are christian family should have that we should have inside and true
terms of that you know village of personalities and sub personalities within in related within the inner a monastery so chapter seventy two wants to be booked at very carefully for that also we should be prepared to die and then seventy three this marvelous
an explosion of freedom right in the spirit of jack's conference this morning saying a vicious a small group for beginners start here observe this and then if at the appropriate time you're called to go beyond wouldn't go beyond it's a wonderful act of
you going to be by the writer of the rules who saw exhorts us to new humility shum later founders presumed to set up the definitive rule where it's all set out and you never get beyond this framework if you do you're in trouble and st benedict says no tweeze get ya on this war
spirit not your pride or good sort of and with that comes just sure and what then will be i will says any any sentence of the divine scriptures becomes
becomes rule and a person spirit filled the no magic goes the person dan who's they've be no longer according to the flesh in the field of pauline opposition but according to spirit which as we know doesn't mean the body but means the whole person moving
down towards also external right towards a prescription such as circumcision apparent that's what paul meant by application on the fleshy than mean of six parts of dot to thoughts and things he meant these charities who thought he was so justified by outer conformity to prescriptions of
the law batch living according to the flesh but to live according to the spirit is according to the freedom of the children of god and that chapter seventy three show again it's a very articulated rule and so for that reason it's produced and and for that reason men and women
wow their life according to this rule even now thousands of the roman catholic church in one they can communion lutherans are because of their is that articulation were not bowing that we have will sleep in a dormitory and the a candle bit all night and he wants
sleep with our swords where we might hurt ourselves and evolution that's in the rule but that's not normative the way of hear the word of god raised up in christ journey and humility grow in humility run inbev of those perennial components said the the war
so again the challenge to us to journey into his heart of the rule and but yet shall adjust well what is my rule of life and tough what am i going to do about that
ah there's another way you can look here at a benedict's way of ordering monastic life and that's just to look very concretely at each typical day what if what it is it's shape and that again not just for of information so we'll go but as challenge
what does mine average day of like and why
it it will say his average day looks like that out of again have a motive of repentant love
what is behind the way we
give me up the time in our day
time it's a great resource it's a great mystery i read a special about americans in this decade or more and more obsessed with time there just isn't enough money isn't so much even the big problem off at each time i just to read a king about japanese some ten
ten thousand japanese worked themselves to death every year so because there's not no time we gotta go faster and faster and faster to keep up with the competition and then they just collapse and your started to introduce of lawsuits the wives the killer or can accompany you killed my husband by
by requiring him to just work in this crazy wait so time as a resource we have less and less of it or do we have if you want to get thoroughly philosophical there's always twenty four hours of to a day rejoice over many thousands of minutes that works out of its there
it just that for some reason we feel compelled to give larger and larger blocks at that time to work and we need to look very rigorously and what is behind that compulsion use it contrite love is that are due to his motive or is it fear or is it greed
or is it pride what is it but touch the basic question so we have time we are in time augustan says time is the most obvious thing there is until you try to see what it is it wasn't a conditions that i said i have
no idea what it is restored start to ponder it's one of those real mysteries this very precious resource to god gives to us when can just feel soft toy shop softly say it's the measure of motion the way feet and inches measure extension so
hours and minutes and seconds major motion from here to there that's one but it seems to be related to shoot some very deeper reality is that and it's but i think just to see the lord god the creator gave us as our basic timepiece the heavens the cosmos
and the earth spinning on attack is our basic measure of time that the marvelously lyrical and then the moon and its gyrations gives us that other measure of the month and then of spinning around the earth gives us the year so it's just marvelous cosmic timepiece
it wants to suggest was some larger perspective on this wonderful resource of time time is our human condition we can get out of time except through moment said some real grace and ecstasy
see but then even the body continues to be in time and that means for the cured of just wonderful opportunities but then we see times starting to run out on us and then it would seem we have to run faster faster faster faster but to reflect on this
amazing dimension of the human condition of time and then our main challenges to hello time this i think is what the woman does and we do do we hello our time that's the fundamental goal of a rule of life to hello our time
so that it does become like incense of in the lord's sight
the in scripture a biblical scholars say there tend to be two quite different ways of talking about time this isn't always very consistently there but it's a tendency to talk on the one hand about kronos time which is kind of time outside of the disposition of guard just
secular time one damn thing after another time i'm in control time or the emperor's and control or just faded and control or one damn thing after another a fatalistic time but then there's cairo's there's salvation
event the kingdom of heaven is at hand it's here this is the moment at this cairo's time is this instant every incident is full of the possibility of repentance returning to the father communion with god of communion in love with as
everyone so every instant is for can't with the with the kingdom and every instant is seen in this salvation history where the board is working out use for plans so it's quite different perspective on up on time
and benedict wants to offer a mediation a concrete way of getting back to cairo's to getting back to of salvation time so right there again at the beginning of the prologue when can hear this wanting to get us back to this perspective
let us arise then at last we've been losing time for the scripture stirs us up saying now is the our for us to rise from sleep there is open our eyes to the fine white marvelous for is that a here with attentive ears the warning which the divine voice cries daily to
what's this is now only but there's also this mysterious repetition fidelity are continuing invitation to day if you hear his voice harden not your hearts
he was years to hear let him hear what the spirit is saying now to the churches so this is this a merchant cry of john the baptist of our lord of the whole prophetic tradition wake up to this decisive moment and that's what the rule is asking us to do and so the role shapes
a day it wants to respect cairo's time and again come out of this and contrite about basic motive and so scholars say it breaks down more or less to of this that the monk and the time of benefit and that's amongst oh today and lots of people living in the world
give something like three and a half hours a day to worship and the divine office that's a vigils and thyme and lodging sexton known however you want a divided up it's quite a chunk every day to worship of god
and st benedict who says like nothing he preferred to love of christ also says that nothing be preferred to the work of god and overstate the divine liturgy so this has a primacy of in the benedictine like and you can we want as isn't their primary
the worship god
if i do how is that stood out in the time i give over to that do i give it enough time if i say that's first and then i'd give it a little tiny fraction of time hours that and it could be that i don't have choices if i've got seven kids should i've gotta support and i can
only earn enough to do that by working ten twelve hours a day and that's the common lot of most of humanity then we can't bear a size too much about well did you say to chosen did you see large etc
but i think at least we want to hear something of the prophetic challenge show that component of the yeah of today ten a fictitious surprising for and a half hours to spiritual reading to mexico
which is primarily a reading of scripture but also at the early christian classics of the fathers and mothers and the monastic classics but very substantial spiritual reading amongst would shave inevitably we're going to feed our face three times a day come rain or shine we know that the bar
each nourishment doesn't the mind and spirit neat merge nourishment
i'm very often where anorexic at that level we just come up here nothing of charlotte merged with are we need to jump through just heard a contemporary of the latest kind of part of stuff instead of the substantial nourishment that will nourish miss for a lifetime subordinate
half hours for alexios for spiritual reading then about one hour for meals for feeding the body and then it it consists that there be enough food in there being different dishes and there be a warm dish in the winter etc show he's very very incarnation very
in favor of
have a solid acknowledging that the needs of the body there i was driving up here with a wonderful friendships can you can provincial for years and he mentioned how st francis at the end of his life had to apologize for the way he had abused his brother body he had gotten to wait almost stay yeah
manichaean to see the punishing the flesh and he had ruined his own health
and that decision the benedictine way and this is a real revolution repetitive pulls off because the desert tradition was very big into rub
aesthetical polish fed-ex the nine fasting more than your fasting and i'm eating less than european kind of thing and then there's no disrupt the food that trump and this is the amount of times going to be it's not ours it's not like the late roman know
banquet that would last seven or eight hours but if some sufficient and then this is a real surprise in the context of the desert eight and a half hours for sleep pipes are eight hours sleep so what there were the sleepless ones in the desert who taking very literally the exhortation of jesus to
of always watch always be alert you were going to prompt themselves against the rocks and private shows that never sleeping and benedict such nonsense you go to bed and you sleep and than seven hours of work and this was mainly manual labor but not just and up as
i hope we have time to see that it puts a very positive of importance to work and our distinction to the late roman empire where of work was seen as something very demeaning for the slave class and some historians say that benedict and and it can save western civilization
you buy in bulk billing work the work of agriculture the work of culture and so this is still part of our heritage that it might have gotten a little wobbly when we get into the work ethic with the judge just takes this so the monk is supposed to work seven hours but yet in this com
text and as we'll see in this pattern ah work interspersed with prayer so it's not just an obsessive intense work that absorbs every cell of energy i had mixed metaphors
but it's work interspersed with rest with eating and we with done primarily worship
so why don't we think about this
dividing up of the day and done will come back to this and look at it a bit more how how it wants to represent also a balance in a rhythm and up challenges very much on how we are cutting the pie of our own pirates time for a close tie
time every day army