Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way. Chapter 4 RSB
A corrective for todays ills.
Daily I try to keep my pulse on the planet. It is neither an easy nor always an enjoyable task. I have to do this amidst natural disasters, disrespect for human life in the form of violence and rejection of other living beings, and political and religious leaders who have been given the task to lead and to serve their constituents yet instead choose to humiliate and make fun of them by word and worse by deed.
Somehow we have to live our lives with this tension of what we really are and what we want to become and between what others are trying to make us into, and are now accepting as normative.
We are in deep need of a “corrective”. A dosis of medicine that will combat the viruses that attack our modern lives on Social Media and in Society in General.
This is both from without and within.
What one author called the “Benedict Option”, I would like to propose as the Benedict Corrective as we learn to be “different” from the worlds way without “fleeing” from it as some conservative authors have suggested. It is not about creating an alternative reality, a kind of avatar existence as some like to propose. It is about living with the tensions of modern living yet at the “same time”. Modeling something very different. It is saying NO to many of the pre-set and new set of post 9-11 thinking. All based on fear, exclusion, and self protection. It is not about closing our doors and borders but about opening them up and dialoging with each and every constituent that is willing to engage with me.
The Benedict Corrective is adhering to the Benedictine Tools and Principle set forth in chapter 4 of the Holy Rule of Benedict. It is a returning to Gospel values and Human and Humane Principles.
Some of these being a deep sensitivity to human suffering and non human suffering, self control over our ambitions and emotions, and a spirit of humility and simplicity before all creation.
Or better said to practice “These tools of the spiritual life—justice, peacemaking, respect for all creation, trust in God—which are the work of a lifetime. (J Chichester OSB)
We do need to make a deaf ear to the garbage and none-sense that is becoming common place and is trying to numb our existence into what is not “living by the Message of the Good News and Gospel of Christ.” Anything which contradicts that Gospel is no longer Good News for it certainly is “Fake News” and must be regarded as so.
Perhaps now more than ever we need to follow the footsteps of all Monastic and Benedictine Communities who read daily from the Rule of Benedict as a corrective to the imbalanced and one sided way of thinking that is pervading our “air waves”.
The Rule of Benedict continues to bring us back to our “core values and core beliefs” as both human beings and as Christians. A daily dose of this corrective will certainly aid us in combating those dangerous viruses that are making their way into our hearts and minds on a regular basis or at least are begging for attention!
This is NOT a quick fix nor an easy solution. It is what Benedict refers to a battle ground at times against the newest version of evil and deception. Daily these enticements are being renewed and strengthened like the apps on our telephones that offer us new and better versions removing bugs along the way and errors. Yet the Best and always updated version for the Monastic Life continues and will continue to be to be the original and constantly life renewing version of the Rule of Benedict.
Read and Self Correct!
Pax y Bene
Pater Vincent osb