Monday, August 22, 2005

"Narrow at the Outset"

Therefore we intend to establish a school for the Lord's service. In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love. Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.
~ from the Prologue of the Rule of Benedict

A little over a year ago, I used the second part of this quote (beginning with "Do not be daunted") as part of the cover artwork for my first monastic profession. And now, as I think about blogging my Benedictine experience, that one part in particular keeps coming to mind. Not that I'm a complete newbie -- I've been in community three years now. But, at the same time, I'm just beginning the mix of full-time ministry and smaller community life (away from the monastery). So, in some respects, I am just beginning once more.

But that's one of the things I love about Benedict. He doesn't expect perfection. He acknowledges that it might be a little tough in the beginning .... "but hang in there." For me at least, that's a whole lot more encouraging than the images of holy perfection floating on clouds.

"Sure, it'll be tough, but if you can just stick it out ...."


Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

I'm excited to follow along!!!!

8/24/2005 6:48 PM  

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