And here we go…!

So how is the reading going thus far? I will confess I am finding it hard to fit it in with move-in day yesterday here at Renison and orientation this week ! But I will have some more thoughts about the readings as the week continues…

In the meantime, I wonder how the rest of you are finding the book? Is it what you expected? Have you come across the Rule of Benedict elsewhere?


Alan posted a comment on the previous blog entry – which is thought-provoking enough that I wanted to make sure it had a wider audience. So as a starting place for discussion..

Page 7: “We miss out on the life we are meant to have”
I find statements like this very difficult to digest. Isn’t the life that we have always the life that we are meant to have, no matter what happens? Being a devout Christian, even following the Rule of Benedict, does not make us immune to bad things happening to us. Depending on one’s perspective, you can view the same negative life event as either (a) a learning experience that was necessary in order for us to grow – ie. it was part of the life we were meant to have or (b) the result of failing to follow God’s direction for us (which all of us will do several times in our lives because we are not perfect) and therefore causing us to miss out on the life we were meant to have. How is it possible to distinguish between the two? (Alan)



p.s. Haven’t arranged to pick up your copy of the book yet? Contact Megan ASAP!!


4 comments on “And here we go…!

  1. Alan – I think I read that line as not so much about the circumstances that take place in your life, the bad stuff that happens to everyone, and more in light of the final sentence in the paragraph: “In failing to respond to God everywhere God is around us, we may lose the power of God that is in us.” That is, in all that happens to us, we are the child of God, and that means at all times, we give thanks (or try to anyway!) and despite whatever happens to us, we try to follow Augustine and “Sing Alleluia, and keep on walking!” And when we don’t, we lose our birthright, that fundamental part of our identity that says we are beloved and beautiful in the eyes of God, no matter what… A possible interpretation anyway.

    Thanks for jumping in to start the discussion!

    • Alan Anthony says:

      Proof positive that presenting thoughts and ideas to others in order to get a different perspective and/or interpretation is always a good idea. Much like the Greeks have multiple words for love, we need different words for ‘life’. My comments on life were based on a tangible, passage-of-time (dare I say mathematical) definition of life; ie. a chronological series of events. Most likely what Chittister was referring to, as you have suggested, Megan, an abstract, conceptual “life-is-what-you-make-it” definition. The life we are meant to have is in spite of our experiences and we can always get back to that intended life – through God – no matter what has happened to us. It is hard to see life that way when we are traversing the most difficult of circumstances. Ironically, of course, those are the times when it is most necessary to see life that way.

      I did particularly like the sentence from day 3 which stated that the great spiritual question of life is not “Is there life after death?” but instead “Is there life before death?”

  2. diggym says:

    It says on Pg 4, “Let nothing go by without being open to being nourished by the inner meaning of that event in life.” I guess for me, if I choose the path of God consciousness on a daily basis, I believe I will be living the life that God wants for me. By keeping him by my side and within, I will be able to face the hurdles that are placed in front of me on daily. God’s guidance is gentle and my lived experiences will hopefully be ones of inner growth. My inner compass will have direction and hopefully, if I am listening with the ” inner ear of my heart”, I will pay heed to God’s spirit. He will be my companion on the journey and as Henri Nouwen says, the companion of my soul. I guess for me, I hope to pay closer attention to the needs of others. As it is pointed out on pg. 13, the aim of Benedictine life is one gentleness and peace. As we look at the atrocities being lived in Syria today, the call to live this type of spirituality is so desperately needed. I too can make a conscious effort to be a peaceful peacemaker in my daily walk.
    I am really enjoying this book Megan and look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.
    Blessings all,

  3. Laurie says:

    I really like the line on page 20, “even our weaknesses take us to God if we let them”. I find this to be a helpful reminder that when something bad happens in our life, we can still be close to God.

    (And I just love the image of our string with knots in it!!) 🙂


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