As part of my graduate studies at St. John’s University School of Theology, I am currently taking a class on moral theology. This gave me the opportunity to write a paper exploring the many insights for living the Christian moral life that are found in the Rule of Benedict. The Rule is filled with many treasures and bits of wisdom that focus on Christ and lead to a balanced life built on solid values. These values are ageless and universal. Here are some examples.
Moderation – Balance Benedict stresses a balance of prayer, work, and leisure. He is also very aware that things should never be too hard or too lax. Although strict in discipline and expectations, Benedict is the first to admit that he does not have all the answers and is willing to listen to the wisdom of others.
This often misunderstood virtue is central to living in right relationship with God, others, and self. It goes a long way for building community and a positive work environment. The more skillful and gifted a person is, the more the virtue of humility needs to be fostered.
Benedict stresses the importance of work, no matter what the work. He is, again, very aware of the varied needs and abilities of others. Honoring all work, in all its forms and ranks, is very Benedictine.
The value of Obedience in highlighted throughout the Rule. Benedict points out that obedience for obedience sake is not the goal. Obedience is about listening: listening to God, others, and the wisdom within.
Stability, in the Rule, takes on many forms. It is not necessarily a stability that is rooted to a particular place, although there is something to be said for that. But rather, it is a stability that is grounded in loyalty, commitment, and reliability. Stability in the Rule is about staying in the game, not running away when things get tough, not looking for greener pastures. It is about being faithful to people, devoted to the cause, and dependable in responsibility. It is a mind-set.
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa Made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July ll, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.