From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Benedictine time management a full agenda but never busy

From "Mika Larson" <>
Date Thu, 7 Aug 2003 14:10:42 -0400

August 7, 2003

Benedictine time management: 'a full agenda but never busy'

by Evelyn Piety
Triennial Today 
[ENS] In her Episcopal Church Women workshop, "Beyond the Monastery: The
Rule of St. Benedict for Everyday Living," the Rev. Canon Sandra
Holmberg assisted participants to understand how the Rule can be
relevant to their nonmonastic lives in the 21st century.

Benedict, who was born about 480 and died in 550, lived his entire life
within 80 miles of Rome. For a time, he lived in a cave near a town east
of Rome. He spent his time in prayer and in reading scripture. He saw
his Rule as a school for God's service and frequently quotes the Bible
in it. The Rule contains "timeless truth," Holmberg said. 

The Rule encompasses three vows: stability, fidelity and obedience. 

Stability must be in relation to God, Holmberg pointed out, because God
is the only eternal rock on which we stand.

The vow of fidelity allows God to transform our lives. Following God's
plan for us may involve change, or it may mean to do what God calls us
to do where we are.

God wants always what is best for us, and obedience is "not about
getting your arm twisted and doing stupid stuff," Holmberg said. It is a
matter of listening to God and following God's call. Various groups we
may be a part of are important in our listening to God and enable us to
hear God more deeply.

Balance and humility assist us in living up to Benedict's vows. His
rhythm for a wholesome life involves a balance of prayer, study, work
and rest. Benedictine time management is having "a full agenda but never
busy." Humility means being honest with ourselves, with God and with
each other. We must strive to know ourselves as God knows us, frequently
a lifelong process.

Holmberg pointed out that wisdom and guidance are offered by the Rule,
which advises moderation. The point of the Rule is to get to the
"inexpressible delight of love."

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