Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Abbey - Trappistines of Rogersville.
HR.
Vocation Discernment.

Excerpts from the Rule of St Benedict

And so we are going to establish
a school for the service of the Lord.
In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome.
But if a certain strictness results from the dictates of equity
for the amendment of vices or the preservation of charity,
do not be at once dismayed and fly from the way of salvation,
whose entrance cannot but be narrow (Matt. 7:14).
For as we advance in the monastic way and in faith,
our hearts expand
and we run the way of God's commandments
with unspeakable sweetness of love (Ps. 118:32).
  (Prologue)

Let us arise, then, at last,
for the Scripture stirs us up, saying,
"Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Rom. 13:11).
Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
let us hear with attentive ears
the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us,
"Today if you hear His voice,
harden not your hearts" (Ps. 94:8).
  (Prologue)

And the Lord, seeking his laborer
in the multitude to whom He thus cries out:
"Who is the one who will have life,
and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
And if, hearing Him, you answer,
"I am the one,"
God says to you, (…)
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
And when you have done these things,
My eyes shall be upon you
and My ears open to your prayers;
and before you call upon Me,
I will say to you,
'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9). (Prol)

What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
Behold, in His loving kindness
the Lord shows us the way of life. (Prol)

And again,
"Whoever has ears to hear,
hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Matt. 11-15; Apoc. 2:7).
And what does He say?


"Come, My children, listen to Me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 33:12).
"Run while you have the light of life,
lest the darkness of death overtake you" (John 12:35). (Prol)

We believe that the divine presence is everywhere
but we should believe this especially without any doubt
when we are assisting at the Work of God.
To that end let us be mindful always of the Prophet's words,
"Serve the Lord in fear" (Ps. 2:11)
and again "Sing praises wisely" (Ps. 46:8)
and "In the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to You" (Ps. 137:1).
Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves
in sight of the Godhead and of His Angels,
and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way
that our mind may be in harmony with our voice. RB 19
Let nothing, therefore, be put before the Work of God. RB 43

When we wish to suggest our needs to persons of high station,
we do not presume to do so
except with humility and reverence.
How much the more then,
are complete humility and pure devotion necessary
in supplication of the Lord who is God of the universe!
And let us be assured
that it is not in saying a great deal that we shall be heard (Matt 6:7),
but in purity of heart and in tears of compunction.
Our prayer, therefore, ought to be short and pure,
unless it happens to be prolonged
by an inspiration of divine grace.
(RB 20)

But for those who would hasten to the perfection of that life
there are the teaching of the holy Fathers,
the observance of which leads to the height of perfection.
For what page or what utterance
of the divinely inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
is not a most unerring rule for human life?
Or what book of the holy Catholic Fathers
does not loudly proclaim
how we may come by a straight course to our Creator?
 (RB 73)

Idleness is the enemy of the soul.
Therefore the sisters should be occupied
at certain times in manual labor,
and again at fixed hours in sacred reading. (RB 48)

Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
for He is going to say,
"I came as a guest, and you received Me" (Matt. 25:35). (RB 53)

Whoever you are, therefore,
who are hastening to the heavenly homeland,
fulfill with the help of Christ
this minimum Rule that we have written for beginners;
and then at length under God's protection
you will attain to the loftier heights of doctrine and virtue
that we have mentioned above.
  (RB 73)

AMEN

 



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