Whether you’re Christian or not, some interesting insights can be gained from The Rule of St. Benedict. For those constantly overwhelmed by physical possessions, internal clutter and society’s spiralling superfluity, The Rule of St. Benedict, can be a mighty tool towards living a happier and more minimalistic lifestyle.
So, who was St. Benedict and how can his spirituality help those aspiring to minimalism today?
Benedict was a 6th century monk from Nursia near Rome, who first lived as a hermit before establishing various monasteries and writing a Rule to guide monastic living. His Rule is still used today in many monasteries and convents as well as being followed by many lay people.
Whilst many Christians practise the traditions of fasting, prayer and giving to charity during the forty days of Lent, the Benedictine way of life is like a permanent Lenten journey. At the heart of St. Benedict’s Rule is his message to listen to God’s voice in the everyday. However, Benedictine life is not about total abstinence. Instead it’s about moderation, humility and serving others.
Some UK readers may remember that the Benedictine way of life was the subject of two BBC TV series The Monastery and The Big Silence broadcast about ten years ago. The aim of these projects was to enable people from different walks of life and different religions or non-religions to experience monastic life for a sustained period of time and thus to reveal to the participants and viewers new insights into their inner lives and spirituality.
I didn’t watch the TV series at the time – I was probably too busy collapsing in front of something far less meaningful on the box after a demanding day working and dealing with my own two young children, if I remember correctly – but the results were fascinating and can be read here. Similar TV series were later broadcast in the USA and Australia.
Now, whilst we can’t easily give up our current lives to seek spiritual guidance in a Benedictine community there are simple ways we can incorporate St. Benedict’s ideas and values into our everyday lives.
Read the original article here.