Revd Christoph Wutscher
One of the most influential texts in the history of the Western Christian Church (apart from the Bible, of course) is the Rule of St Benedict. This 'little rule for beginners', as Benedict called it, was written in the 6th century for monastic communities associated with the Saint (and it forms the basis for life in many monastic communities to this day). The Rule orders many aspects of life in community: work and prayer times, practical elements concerned with the running of a community, the relationships of people living together, matters of leadership, penance and spiritual growth.
While we are not a monastic community at Holy Trinity (and do not have a formal rule of life', some aspects of Benedict's Rule might still be relevant for us as we seek to be a Christian community in Stirling. We worship and pray together, we meet in groups to discuss our faith; and we offer practical support to one another and beyond the walls of our church. All these things we do together and (in a way) hold each other accountable as we aim to grow together in our understanding of God.
So Benedict's words on Lent may be of relevance for us as well:
'During (the days of Lent), we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food or drink, so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1.6). In other words, let each one deny him/herself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing.' (Rule of St Benedict, from chapter 49).
I pray that this Lent will continue to be a time for searching and spiritual growth in our community and for stripping away of unnecessary things in our lives - that we in joy may prepare for Christ to rise in our hearts and lives this Easter!
Yours in Christ