August 6, 2011

Tools for Good Works

Posted in Reflections, Rule of St. Benedict at 2:23 pm by triadjourney

“Turn from doing evil and do good.  Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” – Psalm 34:14

John Wesley had three simple rules for life (actually, he was a man of quite a few rules, but these three are pretty simple): Do no harm; Do good; Stay in love with God.  I think Benedictines can appreciate the simplicity of these three rules.  In fact, RSB 4 is all about doing good.  Here we have a list of tools at our disposal for doing the good works which God prepared for us to do in Christ Jesus:

  • our first ten tools are the 10 commandments
  • next is the Golden Rule
  • we have spiritual disciplines and works of mercy
  • honesty and integrity in word, thought and deed also aid us in doing good
  • the command (and the power) to love our enemies
  • moderation – of ego, drink, food, rest, etc. – balance, a key discipline in Benedictine spirituality
  • boasting in God
  • living in light of eternity
We all must begin by consciously engaging life with these tools.  However, we must never lose sight of the fact that the tools are not the ends in and of themselves.  They are simply tools.  We must become the kind of people who naturally do good because Christ is at work in us.  This will take time and patience, but it will take.  Wesley was on to something with his three simple rules.
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