A reflection on the Rule of St. Benedict by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
You know, we don’t often refer to Chapter 73 of the rule, it’s usually Chapter 72 On the Good Zeal. But Chapter 73 is on “The Fact that the Full Observance of Justice is Not Established in This Rule.” In other words, rules aren’t enough. There has to be the heart. The rules can bring you to Christ, and then He’s going to ask you for more. What will bring me to greater union with God? The rules simply bring us into His presence and free us to be available to Christ. I think it’s a free heart that He looks for, in order that He can have that heart to freely give to the Father.
“Whoever you are therefore who are hastening to the heavenly homeland”. (RB 73:2) Remember – keep your eyes on eternity. I think that’s one of the important things about Benedictines. Even our liturgy has a touch of heaven. It’s for the glory of God, and it should keep our eyes on eternity. At the end of Chapter 73, the Rule says: “Fulfill with the help of Christ this minimal rule which we have written for beginners, and then at length with God’s protection, you will obtain to the loftier heights we have mentioned.” (RB73:9) It’s the loftier heights we always reach for, so we can always say, what do I still lack? And we can say when we stand before Christ, “What more would you want of me?” Let’s pray that we are ever open each day to do a little bit more.