Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

January 2006: Benedictine Spirituality

Inspired by The Monastery – best reality TV of 2005 – intrigued by way in which this ancient tradition impacted on the 5 men who entered the monastery. Fits in with a desire of Grace to look at existing and past traditions and think about how they might become refresh our own lives. Good from time to time to ask other people to come and talk to us about the things they are passionate about to widen our horizons. This service is led by John Chapman of St Hughes Northolt.

Readings

Kathleen Norris, US poet lives in South Dakota – raised a 'thorough Protestant' as she described herself but Cloister Walk reading – from first chapter 'The Rule and Me'.

Video Tape Clip from "The Monastery"

The Benedictine Way: a way of true listening, humility and order:

We are a school of the Lord's service, in which we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. …. But as we advance in the religious life and faith, we shall run the way of God's commandments with expanded hearts and unspeakable sweetness of love; so that never departing from His guidance and persevering in … His doctrine till death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ, and be found worthy to be coheirs with Him of His kingdom.

Some Benedictine key words:

(power point "Key Words" - overlay on background images)
Humility, Listening, Obedience, Order, Patience, Rhythm, Rule, Scripture

The Ladder of Humility

(Power Point "Ladder of Humility" overlay on background images)

1. Fear the God who sees all
2. Desire only the Father's will
3. Submit as unto the Lord
4. Embrace difficulties as for Christ
5. Confess all sin, conceal none
6. Be content with the lowest task
7. Choose humble attitudes not just words
8. Follow the common rule;
9. Control the tongue, learn silence
10. Beware of careless laughter
11. Speak gently at all times, be meek
12. Show humility in one's bearing

We considered the Benedictine vows of:

Obedience, Openness to God and others, Humility, Hospitality, Limitless Listening, Stability, Fidelity, Chastity, Celibacy, Reckless Love, Conversion of Life, Continual Conversion, Poverty, Simplicity, Generous Justice

We considered Lectio Divina in the monastic Tradition

Lectio (Read)
Rumination (Chew)
Meditatio (Christ)
contemplatio (myself)
oratio (pray)
action (action)

We closed the service with Eucharist

Additional reading material suggested by John Chapman.

  1. The Rule of ST Benedict in English 1980 translation, Liturgical Press, Minnesota
  2. The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  3. A Life-Giving Way: A Commentary on the Rule, Esther de Waal; Mowbray, London, 1995
  4. Praying the Hours, Suzanne Guthrie: Cowley, Camb, Mass, 2000
  5. The Glensal Book of Prayer, Columba, Dublin, 2001
  6. The Fire in these Ashes, Joan Chittister OSB, Gracewing, Leominster, 1995
  7. Pax, The Benedictine Way, Ambrose Tinsley OSB, Colmba, 1994
  8. Heart Whispers: Benedictine Wisdom for Today, Elizabeth Canham, Upper Room, Tennessee, 1999
  9. Seeking God, Esther de Waal: Fount, 1984
  10. 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Benedict, Andre Gozier OSB: Liguori, Missouri, 2000
  11. The Benedictine Rule of Leadership, Galbraith & Galbraith: Adams, Avon Mass, 2004
  12. Father Joe, The Man who saved my Life: Tony Hendra: Hamish Hamilton, London, 2004
  13. Spiritual Letters, Abbot John Chapman OSB: Burns & Oates, London, 1935

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