Compare and contrast the selection from the Rule of St. Benedict Essay
Compare and contrast the selection from the Rule of St. Benedict
Regula Benedicti or The Rule of Saint Benedict is a book of principles written by St. Benedict of Nursia. It is written purposely for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot. The fortitude of the Rule of St. Benedict can be summed up in the motto of the Benedictine Confederation and the conventional ora et labora which means peace and, pray and work, respectively. In comparison with other precepts, the Rule of St. Benedict provides us a moderate path between an individual passion and formulaic institutionalism. It became popular because St. Benedict’s concerns were the needs of the monks in a community environment. This embraces establishment of due order and to further understand the relational nature of human beings. In addition, the Rule supports and strengthens each individual’s ascetic effort in providing a spiritual father and fulfilled the human vocation (theosis) in providing spiritual growth. This Rule is intentionally written to guide for each individual, a sovereign community, and all the Benedictine Houses that remains self-ruling. Some of the advantages of this Rule include cultivating models of strongly bonded communities and meditative life-styles. On the other hand, geographical seclusion and, ineffectiveness, the need for mobility in the service of others and insufficient appeal to prospect members are some of the perceived disadvantages and losses in St. Benedict’s Rule.
One of the inspirational prayers that are widely known is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which concerns the need for God to all of humanity. In this compact but compelling precept, St. Francis reflects on each phrase of the Prayer presenting us ideas about what it means to truly be a peacemaker and a follower of Jesus Christ. He emphasizes the need to spread Peace in this world which include; love, forgiveness, trust, hope, light and happiness. The precept/text punctuate each reflection and persuade us to plant the seeds of good value and send forth the everlasting message that we all wanted the need for peace in our daily living and serve in the presence of God.
The Prayer of St. Francis personifies the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi’s plainness and poverty. The intention of this prayer challenges us to look beyond ourselves and find God in our hearts. This precept is differentiated from the Rule of St. Benedict in a manner that the prayer itself gives emphasis to individual zeal and less to formulaic institutionalism. It supports the traditional monasticism where individual renounces material things (i.e. worldly pursuits) and entirely dedicate their lives to serve God.
Both of the precepts/texts pursuits the lives of Christianity and a life devoted to God. They provide examples, ideals, and guidelines to what each individual must do in service for God. Specifically, St. Benedicts Rule and the Prayer of St. Assisi are in response to the call Jesus of Nazareth to follow Him. Monasticism in Christian tradition embraces vocation from God and desires to attain eternal life in His presence.
Oxtoby, W. G. 2nd ed. World Religions: Western Traditions.