Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Tag Archive for ‘Rule’

St. Benedict’s advice for beating the blues

Acedia has two remedies, one is psalmody. As to the other… A while back, for whatever reason, I was most uncharacteristically doing battle with the devilish little megrim that is acedia. Actually, “doing battle” sounds romantic and pro-active. It would be more accurate to say I have been whining, and sitting before my oratory with […]

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The key to avoiding distraction … from a 6th-century monk

Must-read advice for discussing contentious issues in person and on the web. Do you ever feel like we’re all talking past each other? Even in friendly conversations I notice times when I’m simply waiting for a pause so I can interject a new topic of conversation and hold court about it. In other words, I’m […]

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Sunday Chapter talk on humility

You can’t escape the journey that is our lives.  If it is attempted things usually get worse.  That goes for life in the secular world as well as for those who are in religious and monastic life.  Below is a talk I presented to the community at Sunday Chapter on an aspect of Humility as […]

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Experiences as a young monk that helped me stay in community

(The gift of community and the struggle) People who live in community and by that I am not talking about a religious community but about any gathering or grouping that seeks to live together over the long haul, no matter what the interior struggle or outer chaos is. The giftedness that flows from community includes […]

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Benedict of Nursia on the Value of Work

. . . One of [St. Benedict’s] most famous dictums was ora et labora: “pray and work.” His Rule served as the standard community rule for monasteries in the West for hundreds of years. Consistent with his dictum, the Rule of St. Benedict contains some wonderful passages about the value of work in addition to other […]

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Wash, make yourselves clean

You urge me to lay down for you some rule for contemplating the Beloved and to give you a method for this discovery and vision. What does this mean? Would you have me confine within a rule the bounty of God’s gift? This vision results not from human effort but from grace. It is the […]

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St. Benedict for Beginners – The Ninth Step to Humility

‘The ninth step of humility is that a monk should keep his tongue from talking; he should preserve silence.’ Monks are famous for their vows of silence, and there is much wisdom in the tradition. Benedict is not recommending silence for silence’s sake, but because there is so much occasion to sin in much talking. […]

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St. Benedict for Beginners – The Eighth Step to Humility

‘The eighth step of humility is that the monk should do nothing except what is recommended by the common rule of the monastery and the example of those above him.’ It is difficult to put up and shut up. We think we know best, and often we can see a better way to do things. […]

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St. Benedict for Beginners — The Seventh Step to Humility

‘The seventh step of humility is that the monk should not only say in his words that he is inferior and less virtuous than other men, but he should believe it in his heart.’ This advice sounds like St Benedict wants us to grovel and mumble that we are just lowly worms. Not really. He […]

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St. Benedict for Beginners – The Sixth Step to Humility

‘The sixth step of humility is that a monk should be satisfied with whatever is of lowest value or quality.’ Are we really supposed to surround ourselves with everything of poor quality and low value? Not really. St Benedict is not recommending that we intentionally surround ourselves with everything that is tacky, cheap and nasty […]

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