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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Original Benedict

I’ve been reading more religious books. Read a book about The Rule of Benedict, "Benedict’s Way" by Laurie Pratt and FR Daniel Hoffman, OSB. I have never looked at the Rule before. I was surprised that The Rule specifies that two meat dishes should be served for dinner, since someone may not like one of the dishes. Further, The Rule requires each Monk gets his own bed. In sixth century Europe, this would be a very high standard of living. The rule demands monks do Lecto Divinia, which is the reading and rereading of holy texts. This tells me all the monks had to be literate, which also seems remarkable in Benedict’s time and place. Most of the rule focuses on what a bunch of guys need to do if they want to live together without being at each others’ throats. One of may favorite things is the repeated references to “murmering”, which is viewed as the root of many evils.

“Benedictine Sprirituality” has become soupe de jour for lots of new-agers. The idea is that The Rule can inform and improve our lives, even if we are not monks. This seems simplistic to me, since the rule, other than specific monastic practices, instructs us to get our avarice under control and work to be nice to each other. As Bill and Ted said, “Always be excellent to each other, party on dude.” However, Bill and Ted probably wouldn’t have liked the chastity business.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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