12th September, 2018

Regula Reflections: Prologue 39 - 44

Rule of St Benedict

Every night at Compline, we reflect on a short passage from the Rule to remind us of what we are striving to live, and to listen to what the Lord may have to say to us. We offer here our own personal and anonymous reflections, contributed to by the whole community. We hope that, by sharing in our spiritual life, you will be able to explore further your own.

Seize the Day

“The path is beautiful for those who walk.” Saint Benedict in his Prologue has presented us with a map, showing us the way to walk if we truly want to live in the Lord’s presence. But like any map it only truly becomes useful when we begin to follow it, when we start to make the journey. In this section of the Prologue there is a sense of urgency. St Benedict really wants us to discover the life we long for, the life God wants for us. He knows how easy it is for all of us to settle, to stay where we are. And so he calls us, urges us, to be brave enough to make the first steps, to choose life. If he were with us today he might cry out, Carpe Diem (Seize the day). It is the invitation of the Gospel, “Come follow me” “Put out into the deep” – take a chance, stake your life on what your heart is telling you. Earlier in the Prologue we heard the Lord calling out: “Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days.” If your answer (like mine) is “I do” then Saint Benedict urges you to live it, to begin the journey, in fact to begin not just walking but running! He warns us to prepare our hearts and bodies for this journey because there will be struggle. He also reminds us that in the end it does not depend on our limited human capacities – God will bring about what he wants for us if we let him. We are being called to live in the Lord’s tent, to make our home with him, to discover what St Paul calls “the glorious freedom of the children of God.“ Later he will tell us that as we run the path is bound to be narrow at first but soon we will find ourselves running with “our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.”