“We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another—doubtless very different—St. Benedict.” – Alasdair MacIntyre
“If I were a young man or woman seeking God today, I should enter, if I could, a Benedictine monastery.” – John Senior
“[We] await a new Saint Benedict to appear in our quite different time and place and teach us how to reweave the tapestry of our Christian lives…” – Rod Dreher
It was not my intention to pull together so many threads in this first blog post, but there they are, tying together a tight argument in favor of living The Rule of St. Benedict. I blame John Senior, who first set the hook and Dreher who lately points me back to Senior. Much as I sympathize with Estragon in Waiting for Godot that nothing can be done about the immediate removal of boots when one is weary (I hike a lot), my real sympathy lay with those who pine with Dreher and Senior for a space of breath in this post-moral age, and hence calling for recourse to The Rule from so many in this time and place.
We cannot all disappear to a monastery where The Rule is freshly kept. But we can keep The Rules through taking our Faith seriously as have ages past, in our home and parish. I believe so strongly that this is what I am being called to do, that I’m willing to sacrifice the present course of my life on the altar of obedience to what I believe God is calling me to do. I only have an inkling of what that might entail. You will read more about that Inconvenient Adventure if you continue to follow this blog.
For openers, and speaking of my qualifications to pen such words, all I have to say is that I have been bad. I have been as bad as any of you at keeping Faith. Most assuredly worse. Worse at raising my family in the Faith. Worse at using my gifts. I’ve been lukewarm, and I’ve paid the price for my tepidity up to now. Should the whip be laid to my back for this folly, I will pray that the fresh sufferings might be added to that which is lacking in the suffering of Christ, as St. Paul so richly stated. My greatest regret is over those who have also had to pay some penalty on account of me. Lately, through a singular grace from God, I’ve been given a second chance and possibly even some bit of revelation as to why I have been such a failure.
And so, if God will deign to use me, I will work. I will do so even without a guarantee of success. I will work as cheerfully as I can because Chesterton has told me that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. I love him for that. That, and because I tend to do a lot of things badly.
Truly, the Lord protects the simple. Even a simpleton like me. He is gracious and just and full of compassion (Psalm 116).