This past week, we reached the end of the study of the Rule of Benedict -- formal novitiate study, at least. For my homework, I read a sort of summary of the themes in the Rule: table, oratory, authority, mutual service, and a few others.
One idea in the piece I read from Margaret Malone, SGS's book, One Heart, One Soul, was about how monastic communities might give witness to a different way of being in the world. In this part, she references Roger Housden's book, Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living, listing each of the sins and the implications of "committing" them:
2. The Pleasure of Being Foolish (Foolishness) – because then we will relax and enjoy our lives, and not be caught up in competitiveness to be always successful and always on top.
3. The Pleasure of Not Knowing (Ignorance) – because then there will be always something to learn, and we will be good disciples who can be taught. Then we will have what Jean Leclercq calls the Love of Learning and the Desire for God.
4. The Pleasure of Not Being Perfect (Imperfection) – because then we will always know ourselves in our full humanity, and we will learn humility.
5. The Pleasure of Doing Nothing Useful (Uselessness) – because then we can know true sabbath and real leisure and will have the right atmosphere for prayer.
6. The Pleasure of Being Ordinary (Ordinariness) – because then we can be content with who we are and be peaceful about accepting it.
7. The Pleasure of Coming Home (Prodigality) – because then it must be that we are happy, know we are in the right place, know acceptance no matter what, know we can return, and know we belong.
Don't these sound so much better than the Seven Deadly Sins?!
Let us walk in the holy presence.
The Pleasure of Living in Full Bloom
The Pleasure of Being Patient Until the Hummingbirds Arrive
The Pleasure of Being One Small Part of One Great World