Reading the Liturgical Code in the Rule of St Benedict

The chapters of the Rule we are reading at present (often called the Liturgical Code of the Rule of St Benedict) might seem unpromising material on which to meditate —  rather like the less digestible sections of the Book of Numbers. They are, however, an important part of the whole. Take away Benedict’s prescriptions for the common prayer of the community, and you take away something essential for understanding what monastic life is all about. It is a quest for God, lived in community and worked out through the small detail of life. As Benedictines, we don’t do great things for God. We are, if truth be told, bumblers along the way of perfection. The constant return to choir and the prayer of the community as a whole bears us up, helps us over the difficult places, and will eventually, please God, lead us to the ‘heights of wisdom and virtue’ of which St Benedict speaks. Being reminded again and again how simple, straightforward and scriptural our prayer in community should be is a great encouragement. ‘Bumbling along with Benedict’ may not sound very challenging, but it certainly challenges me.

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3 thoughts on “Reading the Liturgical Code in the Rule of St Benedict”

  1. Bumbling it might be, but Sacred and Holy it is.
    I had the privilege to spend a day with the Sisters at West Malling last year. Their communal prayer is wonderful, all plain chant of the Psalms are regular times. It brings great peace and space for prayer and reflection.

    Sometimes this is where we all need to be, alongside Religious in their common life of prayer and worship, it reminds us of the simpler way we could all live and share.

  2. I pray for you and your community in your practice of “constant return to the choir” and ” bumbling along”. May the Holy Spirit therein carry you to the heights.

  3. bumblers along the way of perfection

    At least you know you’re bumbling along the way of perfection… If I could think that I too am bumbling on that same path, wow…
    I think I will entertain the thought and enjoy the feeling…

    Thank you. Happy Bumbling!

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