Thursday, July 2, 2009

"The First Rule"

Today I want to share a meditation that my husband shared with me and introduce you to a small, but powerful book, Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living by John McQuiston II.

The Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines) carries on a monastic tradition that stems from the origins of the Christian monastic movement in the late third century. They regard Saint Benedict as their founder and guide even though he did not establish a Benedictine Order as such. The monasteries or the order originated in the tradition of community life with its common prayer, reading, and work. John McQuiston II has written a book for "modern" Benedictines outside of a monastic setting, for those who wish to bring the order's values and way of life to everday living.

The First Rule
Attend to these instructions,
listen with the heart and the mind;
they are provided in a spirit of goodwill.
These words are addressed to anyone
who is willing to renounce the delusion
that the meaning of life can be learned;
whoever is ready
to take up the greater weapon
of fidelity to a way of living
that transcends understanding.

The first rule is simply this:

Live this life
and do what ever is done,
in a spirit of Thanksgiving.

Abandon attempts to achieve security, they are futile,
give up the search for wealth, it is demeaning,
quit the search for salvation, it is selfish,
and come to comfortable rest
in the certainty that those who participate in this life
with an attitude of Thanksgiving
will receive its full promise.
May it be so. Amen.

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