Why It Is Good To Have a Rule of Life

As I've mentioned, during our family vacation Jana and I got to spend two nights at the monastery of the  Benedictine Sisters of Erie.

This was the first time Jana and I had stayed at a monastery and I think we used the time well. We enjoyed praying with the sisters and eating with them at mealtimes. We had a nice discussion with Sister Judith over one meal about the recent tensions between the Vatican and the female religious in America. (Jana and I are solidly behind the sisters.)

The Benedictines are known for their hospitality. A fun story along these lines. Jana was laughing with Sister Maurlene during one conversation when they had this exchange:
Jana: "Isn't there some rule that says you have to be nice to me?"

Sister Maurlene (reluctantly, though tongue in cheek): "Yes, I'm supposed to treat you as if you were Christ himself."

Jana: "That's Chapter 53, right?"

Sister Maurlene (shaking her head): "Yeah."
Sister Maurlene was a hoot.

From Chapter 53--"On the Reception of Guests"--of the Rule of St. Benedict:
Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say, "I came as a guest, and you received Me" (Matt. 25:35).
And that's why it's good to have a Rule of life.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

3 thoughts on “Why It Is Good To Have a Rule of Life”

  1. "And that's why it's good to have a Rule of life." -- plus a Rublev Icon tattoo to remind one of the Rule.  :-)

    If forced to choose only one rule, I think this is a pretty good one.  Just about sums it up...

    I am haunted by an encounter that I had as a teenager with a man in a Salvation Army waiting area.  I was sitting there with my mother, waiting to be approved for a food handout, and a man sitting across the room from us kept smiling at me.  When my mom brought this to my attention, I looked away in disgust, muttering some comment about his probable lecherous drunkenness.  He was dirty and gross, to my bratty teenage eyes.  The person I am now is ashamed of myself then.  I was so busy denying my own poverty, that I needed to look down on and be unkind to those in my exact predicament.  This was a lesson that has been instructive for me at this stage of life.  Painful, but instructive.

    On vacation this month, we encountered a family who, on first impression, seemed a little quirky and "weird."  We didn't go out of our way to start up a conversation, let's just say.  That same day, in the evening, there we were again, thrown together with this family.  Inwardly, I just threw up my "hands" and said, "Okay, God, you win...I get it."  So, we made a gesture of kindness to make space for the mother in the seat next to us, and I struck up a conversation with her.  The *nicest* people you could ever meet, it turns out.  I ended up being completely charmed by their quirkiness and feeling very "at home" with them.  We made a point to stay connected after we parted ways at the vacation site.

    I'm kind of a slow learner, but it's good to feel that the really important stuff in life has begun to sink in.  Thanks, Dr. Beck!  Keep on being you...  ~Peace~

Leave a Reply