|Altenburg Abbye (photo by Tyssel,
The year 1875 marked the 1500 anniversary of the birth of St. Benedict, whose Rule I am bound to follow by my choice of becoming an Oblate. Now, another 125 + years later, not a day goes by that I do not marvel at the wisdom of this “Father of Western Monasticism” and how it applies to my life today. Moreover, by the grace of God I can see how He has arranged my life to make it possible to follow this Rule without complications. Not that the road is easy – just that the path is not hidden. The barbed-wire fences and hedgerows along the way keep me from wandering beyond the point where I would lose direction. That is, in fact, one purpose of having a rule in the first place.
In Chapter 57 St. Benedict writes:
If there are craftsmen in the monastery, let them practice their crafts with all humility, provided the Abbot has given permission. But if any one of them becomes conceited over his skill in his craft, because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery, let him be taken from his craft and no longer exercise it unless, after he has humbled himself, the Abbot again gives him permission.
Abbots, like parents, have special graces granted by God to fulfill their duties of guiding and protecting the spiritual and temporal life of the family. In the case of the monastery, the community is supposed to be self-sufficient under the direction of the abbot. The talents of the various members are to be applied, according to the discretion of the abbot, in the service of the daily upkeep of the household.
Continue reading at Barb's blog Suffering With Joy.