A Community of Love
Just this past Tuesday, the country celebrated Valentine’s Day. This holiday is somewhat made commercial with the buying of cards, flowers, and chocolate. As we walk this journey of being monastics, we have decided to live our life in community with a prioress. A prioress is the leader of the community. (We will talk about the prioress in a blog down the road.) We also live by the Rule of St. Benedict. Chapter 72, The Good Zeal of Monks, helps us to know how to live in community with love.
1 Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, 2 so there is a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and everlasting life. 3 This, then, is the good zeal which monks must foster with fervent love: 4 They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10), 5 supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior, 6 and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. 7 No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else. 8 To their fellow monks they show the pure love of brothers; 9 to God, loving fear; 10 to their abbot, unfeigned and humble love. 11 Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, 12 and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.
We show this love by respecting each other and patience for their weaknesses. We are a community of many different personalities. We don’t look to our own wills, but those of the community. This is not always an easy thing to do, but we try to do our best. We love each other, but not like the world; we are something different. Can you imagine living with 100 or so women of all ages and we show each other respect?