Friday, 15 January 2010

Living Faith

Living Faith is the current "vision for the Diocese of Oxford" and has 5 points (I am not going to repeat them here, if you want to know more follow the link).  This year the focus is on "Sustaining the Sacred Centre".  Today's reading from the Rule of Benedict (which won't be there tomorrow) contains the following commentary from Joan Chittister :

In monastic spirituality, then, leadership is not intent on making things right; leadership is intent on making life right. The number of families who have succumbed to the notion that giving their children everything that money can buy assures their happiness need this insight from of monastic spirituality. The number of business people who have put their entire lives into developing their businesses instead of their quality of life, need this insight from monastic spirituality. The number of young people who have learned to believe that success depends on having it all, may need this monastic lesson in life. The Rule of Benedict teaches us that nothing, not even a monastery, is worth the loss of the development of the important things in life, the spiritual things in life.
 And perhaps I would add the number of churches that depend on programs...  This is as much a criticism of myself as of others, as when our church were discussing this I was all geared up to institute lots of programs - I have worked with several management consultants and could see how the programme would fit together.  Luckily Bishop John was quoted as saying that this was about asking people to "deepen their enjoyment of God, and to recognize God's presence in everyday life" and we (and I) recognised that without first sustaining the sacred centre nothing else of worth would happen.

Shame after reading the Rule of Benedict for about 8 years that I hadn't noticed the above quote sooner!

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