Benedictine Spirituality

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Saint Benedict - by  PERUGINO, Pietro -
from Pinacoteca, Vatican

 

Benedictine Spirituality

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Benedictine Spirituality stems from early Christian/ Catholic tradition. Therefore, it is deeply Scriptural and Incarnational.   This means it is a "pilgrim way" like the spirituality of our Scriptural forebears from Abraham through Mary, and the members of the early Church.   It is quite ordinary, not particularly spectacular.  Thus it is a practical spirituality which ordinary Christians can live.

This does not mean it is not demanding, however.  Because discernment is at its very heart, it requires a listening ear and heart.  One good rule of discernment, which is in tune with Scripture and with human psychology, is that when a theme or message, whether from a dream or a waking experience, is "heard" again and again, it is to be heeded.   Thus, this listening cannot be selective or careless. It requires prayerful consideration/discernment:  in prayer,  in Community and through spiritual guidanceSaint Benedict says the "spirits are to be tested to see if they are of God", because not all inspirations are automatically assumed to be holy.  But as one grows in Benedictine Spirituality and life, one learns that one does have to listen interiorly as well as to voices outside oneself.

Benedictines listen for the voice of God, not only in prayer and in the voice of the Community leader or that of Church leadership, but also in all the events of daily life, both in Community and beyond.  And this listening is to attend not only to the "positive" in life, but also to the "cross" which can teach us a great deal about life and about ourselves.