Friday, August 18, 2006

The Rule

We read that monks should not drink wine at all, but since the monks of our day cannot be convinced of this, let us at least agree to drink moderately, and not to the point of excess, for wine makes even wise men go astray.
-Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 40

After having read Joan Chittister's book on the Rule of St. Benedict, I felt compelled to read the rule itself. So far I'm finding it quite edifying. When I read the injunction against eating the meat of four-footed animals I thought that I could never have anything to do with this rule, but then when I got to the section above about wine, I decided perhaps Benedict and I could possibly come to an arrangement, particularly given that these monks who couldn't be pursuaded not to drink wine were so "lukewarm" in their faith that it took them a whole week to pray through the psalter. :-)


Inheritor of Heaven said...

Wow, a whole week! Slackers. They probably had most of it memorized so they wouldn't have to read it off the page either.

LutherPunk said...

One of the things that I have found most edifying is not so much the letter of the law, so to speak, within the rule, but more its general spirit. There is a pretty decent book called, _St. Benedict for the Laity_, written by a Presbyterian pastor, that I found as a useful way to reflect on the Rule. There is another, this one a workbook, called, _Preferring Christ_, written by Benedictine oblate Norvene Vest.

The first time I read the Rule a few years ago, I was unimpressed. But the more I immerse myself in its spirituality of finding the rythm of daily life holy, the more I find it to be profound and, in fact, a partner on the journey.

Would that more Lutherans spend some time in the Rule...