When St. Benedict of Nursia wrote a Rule for the monks of his monastery in sixth century Italy, he was trying to encourage those who would seek God together in community. 1500 years later that Rule is still being observed all around the world in monasteries, lay communities and all who call themselves Benedictine today. St. Benedict said he wished to establish “nothing harsh, nothing burdensome,” but to “safeguard love.” The hallmarks of his Rule are: balance, humility and hospitality. In striving to lead a balanced life we do not let any one aspect of our lives lead us to become too attached: to things, goals, success, our own ideas. Humility helps us take ourselves not too seriously and to tread lightly through life, knowing that we are not the pinnacle of the created world. The idea of hospitality—to see in each other the face of Christ—reminds us that we are all in this dance called “life” together, ultimately called to life in the Trinity. That is our destination, and we are to do everything we can to keep this in mind as we progress toward that end. The Community of Hope International was founded to form praying communities, encouraging each other in love, to be a nonjudgmental listening presence to those we encounter on a daily basis. The spirituality of St. Benedict, reflected in the wisdom of his Rule, lights our way to truly become a Gospel people proclaiming God’s love for all of creation.
For Community of Hope International, the Rule is simply an aid to help us live lives rooted in the Gospel and grounded in the core values of Benedictine spirituality. We find within its pages a way of seeing that leads to life.
A way of seeing ourselves: humility, a stance that helps us to put aside our own wishes and desires in our search for God in our lives and live harmoniously in community.
A way of seeing time: balancing prayer, work, study and leisure.
A way of seeing others: hospitality, encountering others as we encounter Christ in them, giving up our temptation to become our own gods.
And a way of seeing spiritual growth: the vows of conversion, obedience and stability show us how to put these all into practice in our lives.
When we make a personal Rule of Life for ourselves, we can see the way to live more mindfully and purposefully each and every day