Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for September 5, 2009

January 5, May 6, September 5


Hence the Lord says in the Gospel,
"Whoever listens to these words of Mine and acts upon them,
I will liken to a wise person
who built a house on rock.
The floods came,
the winds blew and beat against that house,
and it did not fall,
because it had been founded on rock" (Matt. 7:24-25).

Having given us these assurances,
the Lord is waiting every day
for us to respond by our deeds to His holy admonitions.
And the days of this life are lengthened
and a truce granted us for this very reason,
that we may amend our evil ways.
As the Apostle says,
"Do you not know that God's patience is inviting you to repent" (Rom. 2:4)?
For the merciful Lord tells us,
"I desire not the death of the sinner,
but that the sinner should be converted and live" (Ezech. 33:11).

Some thoughts:

Doing what the Lord wants us to do, that's a on a firm foundation. It's not built on the vicisstudes of the latest fad, keeping our options open or the whims of others. One of the things that Benedict stresses is the habit of regular prayer. In the monastery, it's fairly easy to get that habit. The bell rings, the monks cease what they are doing, go to the oratory and pray. For us it is not that simple.

Jeremy Taylor, one of the Caroline Divines, wrote in his _Holy Living_ how we can make prayer habitual:

17. Set apart some portions of every day for more solemn devotion and religious employment, which be severe in observing: and if variety of employment, or prudent affairs, or civil society, press upon you, yet so order thy rule, that the necessary parts of it be not omitted; and though just occasions may make our prayers shorter, yet let nothing but a violent, sudden, and impatient necessity, make thee, upon any one day, wholly to omit thy morning and evening devotions; which if you be forced to make very short, you may supply and lengthen with ejaculations and short retirements in the day-time, in the midst of your employment or of your company.



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