07 April 2008

Maybe I wouldn't have made such a good monk after all

Early in my Christian life -- which began in 1988 -- when I was still a Roman Catholic (as opposed to a Reformed Catholic), I contemplated becoming either a Benedictine, a Dominican, or a Jesuit. Probably in that order, too. Eventually, I threw in with Reformation thought and left the Catholic church (or, to borrow from President Reagan, discovered that it had anathematized me).

It is still my habit to read the Rule of St. Benedict. In the past I read it through at least once a year. But my wife recently purchased an edition which divides the text into daily readings and includes the Declarations and Constitution of the American Cassinese Congregation.

The April 6 reading was in Chapter 54 of the Rule. What was most disturbing was this, from the ACC's Declaration 66: "As to the reading of newspapers, let all take good care not to stay at it with loss of time. And let no one acquire the silly and pernicious habit of listening to the radio."

I'm addicted to talk radio. I don't know if I could have handled such a stricture. Of course, the particulary Benedictine monastery I was interested in was Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey Benedictine Monastery, in Pecos, New Mexico, a member of the Olivetan Congregation. I don't know anything about the Olivetans' declarations. So maybe I'd have been allowed to indulge my "silly and pernicious" habit. (I selected Our Lady for two reasons: My father's familiarity with one of the monks there; and it wasn't terribly far from home, so, with Father Abbot's permission, of course, family members would be able to visit from time to time.)

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to return to "silly and pernicious" habit.


About Me

James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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