Friday, November 09, 2007

Reading for March 10, July 10, November 9

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

March 10, July 10, November 9
Chapter 32: On the Tools and Property of the Monastery

For the care of the monastery's property
in tools, clothing and other articles
let the Abbess appoint sisters
on whose manner of life and character she can rely;
and let her, as she shall judge to be expedient,
consign the various articles to them,
to be looked after and to be collected again.
The Abbess shall keep a list of these articles,
so that
as the sisters succeed one another in their assignments
she may know what she gives and what she receives back.

If anyone treats the monastery's property
in a slovenly or careless way,
let her be corrected.
If she fails to amend,
let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.

Some thoughts

For some reason, I am reminded of concept that we are to use wisely the gifts God gives us and to invest them for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Body of Christ. Do others see this?

I also think this passage speaks to our consumer, throw away society. Benedictines take care of their stuff so it lasts. Also reminds me of a Yankee saying:

"Use it up or wear it out
Make it do or do without"

Benedict did not teach poverty the way Francis did. Benedict's approach is one of simplicity. Enough for basic comfort and utility. How do we get back to that?

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

To those who think for a moment that the spiritual life is an excuse to ignore the things of the world, to go through time suspended above the mundane, to lurch from place to place with a balmy head and a saccharine smile on the face, let this chapter be fair warning. Benedictine spirituality is as much about good order, wise management and housecleaning as it is about the meditative and the immaterial dimensions of life. Benedictine spirituality sees the care of the earth, and the integration of prayer and work, body and soul, as essential parts of the journey to wholeness that answers the emptiness in each of us.

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