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 guidance. Saint
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.