Thursday, August 03, 2006

Notes in a poetic form on The Rule of St. Benedict; an appeal to pray and for peace...

For some time now I have been reading, praying, studying to learn to live by "The Rule of St. Benedict" as an Oblate of New Camaldoli, Big Sur, California (USA). When I started out in my postulancy, about 11 years ago, the reading list was long. It took me ten years to complete. I was a postulant for a year. (I continued on as an Oblate when postulancy ended.)

Then, after finishing the first list in ten years, to my surprise, the teachers at the monastery came out with a new list of books to read. I am now working my way through it. All this time I endeavored to live in the world according to The Rule, and the Oblate's Rule. This meant the Daily Office, reading of psalms, prayer, regular attendance at Church and partaking in the Eucharist as fully as possible.

I have come to the point in my reading of The Rule, where I am reading Adalbert de Vogue's, "The Rule of Saint Benedict: A Docrinal and Spiritual Commentary," and I understand it. I find value in it. Most recently, in studying and reading this book, I have been taken with the direction that Psalms are a form of prayer, that the reading of them is prayer, and that one needs to be in the presence of God. The monastic, which includes the Oblate, seeks God. This is the most important characteristic, to my mind, and from what the book says, what I think and was taught is confirmed. Good for me. Lucky me.

The poem for this posting is about The Rule, and it is five years old. Before placing it on my journal site (what I call a blog under creation), a note that there are many good books on living and learning "The Rule of St. Benedict" for laymen and women, for living in the world, and for putting into practice many of the teachings and disciplines of the rule. Send me an email, and I will send the titles of a few. Most of these books I read and own, I purchased through They are readily available, most in paperback, and readable titles. Those that are hard to find are the more advanced ones, harder to find and took some difficult internet searching.

The poem, something of a prayer and a praise:
Poetic recitation on The Rule of St. Benedict
by Peter Menkin - Jun 1, 2002

Attend with the ear of your heart,
Listen in the silenceat night or daytime
through trials and living.
This Rule brings God, the Lord,closer--even to me, do so.

Labor of obedience:
Before beginning a goodwork, pray earnestly.
We are the Lords counted
sons and daughters.The path offers good gifts,
open your eyes to the light.
Arise from sleep.The Rule offers the voice
from heaven this day.

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