The Rule of the Church frames a spiritual life
The essence of the ‘Rule of the Church’ through the ages has been to help Christians grow as disciples of Christ, through four spiritual disciplines exercised in daily, corporate prayer. Together, these are food for the journey of life, and like all food, there needs to be some variety in the diet. The Rule includes:
Daily Prayers, as food for bringing the community together in thanking and praising God – particularly the Psalms, sung together in the Oratory (chapel or small church) of the monastery. During Augustine’s journey to England, these prayers were said and sung while they travelled, when they rested for the night, and when they rose again in the morning. In effect, Augustine and his companions formed a travelling monastery.
Holy Communion – bread and wine that is blessed and received as the spiritual body and blood of Christ, and food for the soul, probably before they set out at the start of a new day.
Private Prayer and Study of the Scriptures (intercession, confession, praise, meditation, petition, thanksgiving, regular reading and study of Scripture) as food for heart and mind.
Monks learned the Scriptures by heart, so that they did not have to carry either a prayer book or a bible for their journey.
Almsgiving to the poor, as a sharing of God’s generosity to us as individuals, and as a community. The monks shared what they had with needy people they came across on their journey. Almsgiving is a very practical service offered to those who are not members of the monastic community.
Almsgiving is also a spiritual service, because almsgiving is where the community’s spiritual life takes practical form, by giving aid to those who are not its members. This is what the Gospel or Good News is about, because it also reveals the nature of God as both generous and sacrificially self-giving.
Contemplative Space Day
A resource day for contemplating Augustine’s life, from Calling to Legacy, in four reflections with text and images.
Session 1 CALLING
Session 2 CRISIS IN FRANCIA
Session 3 ENCOUNTER AT RICHBOROUGH
Session 4 LEGACY