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Silence After Compline

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

April 27, 2015

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I guess, before artificial lighting and electricity, that night had an intensity we dulled with all our things. I’m not suggesting we jettison our modern conveniences, but before televisions and radios and computers and electric lighting, I imagine the night hours were different. We hold back the night with 24 cable programming and snacks . . .

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At What Hours the Meals Should be Taken

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

April 22, 2015

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One monastery I visited last summer had a dog, and when the bell was rung the dog would bark. Ring-ring-ring would go the bell, and the dog howled and barked along. What the bell and the dog were saying is "Stop what you are doing and come to prayer." That bell is a regular reminder, marking the hours and times and drawing the . . .

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The Proper Amount of Drink

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

April 16, 2015

I was in an interview for a ministry position, years ago, and the man leading the interview leaned-in to ask an important question. His voice became softer, and I could tell it was a sensitive topic. I was ready for the worst, and he said with hesitation, barely looking-up, “Do you . . . drink alcohol?” I wasn’t sure what my answer would do . . .

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The Proper Amount of Food

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

April 07, 2015

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(Sorry for the break from posting over the last couple weeks. Holy Week, as it does for most pastors, took over my life.)

Chapter 39 of the Rule of St. Benedict is a hard one for me. It addresses “the proper amount of food.” I usually behave myself here in my middle years, but my college buddies could tell you stories of the damage I could . . .

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The Reader for the Week

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

March 23, 2015

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If you ever eat with monks you’ll find they have a curious practice in that they listen to a reader during many of their meals. This comes from Benedict’s instructions; he says in Chapter 38: “Reading will always accompany the meals of the brothers.” While everyone is eating, one monk reads from a book. Many times the book is faith-based, . . .

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Care of the Sick Must Rank Above All Else

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

March 16, 2015

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The care of the sick is holy work. Whether you’re a physical therapist or a doctor or a parent sitting beside the bed of a kid with the flu, when you care for those who are ill you’re doing something holy. Benedict understood this and tells us in Chapter 36 of his rule, “Care of the sick must rank above and before all else.” The reason for . . .

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Kitchen Duty and Serving One Another in Love

Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict

Jason Jones

"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict

March 09, 2015

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I like to cook, and years ago I hosted some friends for a dinner. I was serving my friends at the table, and one of the women made a comment to the other women. “Notice this,” she said to the other women, “A man is serving us.” It wasn’t a big deal to me, but for them it was, that they were the ones seated at the table while it was a man who . . .

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