Reading the Holy Rule of St. Benedict

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Reading the Holy Rule of St. Benedict

A Benedictine Sister leads a group of Oblates, men and women looking to grow closer to God with the guidance of  The Rule of  St. Benedict.  They will follow the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in reading the  Holy Rule straight through from January through May. She writes an Oblates blog, and she meets with her group once a month.  She invited our web site to share with our readers some of the journey they are taking.   If you have or develop an interest in the Oblates, be sure to check out our Oblate page in the Join Us section.  A description of Oblates and contact information can be found there.  Below is a portion of one of her first blogs along with two links.  We will check in with her regularly through the year.

Photo of illustration of St. Benedict delivering his Rule to St. Maurus taken by Sister Edith Bogue.

Reading the Rule TOGETHER

The Sisters [began] the reading of The Holy Rule at evening prayer [on January 1st].  For many years, The Rule was read continuously – it still is in many communities – but St. Scholastica Monastery reads it aloud for alternate cycles.  Most of the Sisters have heard The Rule dozens of times.  Nonetheless, it is still a potent part of our prayer.  The words may be the same, but everything else changes.

The community is different

As we hear this cycle of The Rule, we will be without Sister Mary Odile and Sister Cabrini – two sisters who made the teachings visible, whose example sometimes made the impossible seem possible.  We listen alongside Linda and Elizabeth, our new postulants– and we hear The Rule differently as we think about them and about all our Sisters in initial formation.  How will they live this Rule into the future? How can we help?

Our relationships are different

One day, a few years ago, I rushed through a brief encounter with a colleague in order to get to Evening Prayer on time. She really wanted to talk about a tough time going on in her life, but I brushed aside the hints that she wanted to talk with a cheery “have a good evening!”  I slid into my seat in time to hear the reading from Chapter 4, The Tools of Good Works. “Never give a hollow greeting of peace,”  the Sister read. It hit me like an explosion.  Someone was troubled and I responded with “Have a good evening” – what kind of idiocy was that? One would think I had never heard The Rule before.  And, in fact, I had never heard it the way I did that night. . . . 

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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen