Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
I quote from the rule of Saint Benedict , who we as Anglican Catholics and Roman Catholics honour alike on this day:
Prayer ought to be short and pure, unless it be prolonged by the inspiration of Divine grace. - Saint Benedict
Girded with a faith, and the performance of good works, let us follow in Christ’s path by the guidance of the Gospel; then we shall deserve to see him “who has called us into his kingdom.” If we wish to attain a dwelling place in his kingdom, we shall not reach it unless we hasten there by our good deeds. Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. Let them put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life. - from the Rule of Saint Benedict
You know how we say in life " quality, not quantity " ? This we have been saying in Anglican Catholic cirles as well. There is no point in having huge congregations, if people attend for the wrong reasons, i.e. the ceremonial, the vestments, the incense and the chants. When we pray we need to be inspired by Divine Grace, our contact with God must be pure and Holy. Most of the time we can submit our intercessions to our Heavenly Father within a minimum of time, sometimes it is necessary to have a more lenghty prayer vigil, an exemple of this is on Holy Thursday, when we watch the sacrament on the altar of repose.
The second rule of Saint Benedict is an excellent one. Of often in this life we proclaim to have the faith, but we do do the works. Mass on the Sunday , back to the business of the day on the monday. We need to ask our God at the beginning of the day to bless us and prepare us for all the good works He prepares for us to walk into. Saint Paul has said to practising Christians: but you, you are different from anybody else, because you confess Christ Crucified. So that is the good fervor, which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us to Everlasting Life. Notice how Saint Paul does not utter these words to individuals, because as Saint Benedict said " No one should follow what he considers good for himself , but rather what seems to be good for another. That is why we all come together for Mass on the Sunday, because the strenghtening of the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ is beneficial to young and old , the healthy and the sick and suffering.
All of us have different callings in this life, I guess we cannot all be Benedictians, but dont you think the rules of Saint Benedict are a wonderful guideline for leading a Christian life? I think so.
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Bendigo - Victoria