I have to confess, dear congregation, that one of my first reactions to the texts for this week was a very human one: “Ah, the ten commandments… hmmm… rules… yaaaay.” All of you are probably much better Christians than me and didn’t have that kind of reaction, haha. But still, there is definitely something about reading the commandments that makes us brace ourselves to be reprimanded. We anticipate all those finger-wagging thou-shalt-nots almost as a kind of public scolding. And I mean, come on, we’re three weeks into Lent – we’ve already admitted that we are dust and we’ve heard the call to rend our hearts and to repent of our wicked ways and to return to God with fasting and weeping and mourning. At this point, reading the ten commandments almost seems like the lectionary is just rubbing our noses in how much we have fallen short. Continue reading
As I prepared to make my final oblation as an oblate of St. Benedict, back in November 2013, one of the things I was required to do was to write a rule of life, adapting the principles of the Rule of St. Benedict to my own life. I was pleased to see that one of the final projects for a spiritual formation class I’ve been taking this semester was composing just such a rule! So much in my life has changed since I composed my first rule of life, and it was refreshing to sort of lay out some of the tangled strings of my being and make lists of things I want and don’t want in my life. As I did so, I began to see patterns emerge, and five major components or paths or whatever began to solidify — Time, Health, Joy, Relationship, and Responsibility — so I decided to organize my rule around them, as centering principles of how I want to live my life. And because I’m a creative, artsy type, it felt truest to myself to draw it out! So here it is. Perhaps it will be inspiration for you to draw (or write, or whatever) your own rule of life!
One thing that I love about this activity is that, although there is no specific branch dedicated to “spirituality,” faith, or religion, I can see the way my own spirituality flows all throughout it: sabbath time, dance, care and love for my body, creativity, worship, community organizing, and even study are all fertile soil for meaningful encounter with the divine.