Rule of Life 4

IX. Study



Engage, daily the writings of Holy Scripture, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Contemplatives and other Holy men and women of faith to gain a greater understanding and experience of the contemplative life and practice.


It is imperative in my opinion for the contemplative to be well grounded in the scripture to keep one from the possible errors and extremes of contemplative life. He or she would also need to heed the words of those contemplatives who have gone before us. Anthony, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington are a few that come to mind. It seems there are so many writings that I cannot get to them all, but slow and steady is the way to go.





Addendum

The Following is borrowed and adapted from the spirit of the order and rule Of Saint Francis of Assisi and from the rule of Saint Benedict, and adapted by Br. Stephen J Buckley IV, revised by Br. Kenneth Hosley


Our order while taking our inspiration from Abba Anthony, also cannot neglect the our other fathers, Benedict and Francis...both contemplatives and wise religious in their own right...shaping the way religious live their lives today.







The Rule is to be sure in all cases to seek the allegiance and guidance of the local Bishop of the Church.

Where the bishop is, there is the church. Nothing should be done without the bishop who is Shepherd on behalf of Christ for the church. That said, we should be praying fervently for God to work in our bishops lives for the good of His church.





The Three Aims of the Order are:

To make our Lord known and loved everywhere.



By word and example, our members witness to Christ’s commandment of love for God and all those around us. By interior prayer and sacrifice, we humble our hearts into silence, so that we may be open to God. In humility, we seek to love all without the obstruction of prejudice, fear, or pride.




Our community is missional. We seek to make disciples through offering gentle spiritual formation through teaching and life example. Our preaching is gentle done as Father Francis of Assisi said, "Preach always, if necessary use words." We follow Jesus in inviting those within and without the church to "come and see". We share our charism of contemplative practice with any who seek it, knowing through these practices the Holy Spirit can reach out to the hardest heart as well to each seeker.



To spread the tradition of our contemplative spirituality.



By discovering the many different means of contemplative prayer, living a life transformed in this spirituality, and teaching this tradition to any who seek an inner silence, our members work to bring contemplative spirituality back into our Church to allow its members a fuller communion with the Body of Christ. By living a contemplative life, being in prayer will all people regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, education and opportunity, we seek to break down the divisions in the world and learn to see and love each other as God sees and loves each of us.




Sadly, contemplative prayer is largely absent in our churches. In speaking to my parish priest about offering a contemplative prayer group in our parish, she commented that many will have no idea what it is. This is heartbreaking, but a reassurance that there is a need for our order to share these practices that people may once again return to the heart of God in holy meditation. May God use our order and a renewal of contemplative prayer to renew the church!



To live simply.



Acknowledging that everything belongs to God, we seek to use His gifts wisely and to be good stewards of this fragile earth, never destroying or wasting what God has made. We provide the things necessary for ourselves and our families without demanding luxuries. We seek never to forget the needs of others.




The life of a religious is to give up everything for the kingdom. For some this may mean giving up finances or seeking the married life. For others this may mean to live simply, unattached to material possessions, or living a consecrated life with a family. The order seems to me to be called in a type of New Monasticism that is both ancient and postmodern. It is both old and ever-new.



“We have been called to stand before God in silence, to seek God in all that we do, to feel God’s presence in every aspect of out lives, to see God in everyone we meet, and to listen to God’s direction with an open heart.”



Like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, so we too are called to sit quietly at our Beloved's feet. We see Jesus in the silence, in the beauty of nature, in everyone we meet, and in our own hearts as well. We are called to be laid open to Jesus Christ...holding nothing back from union with Him.

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