As the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, there seems to be a flurry and frenzy for couples to profess and celebrate their love. Saint Benedict too celebrated love and included how the celibate is called to live love in his Rule. Here are just a few of his words about how to live and love in the monastic life…
Listen carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father’s advice (RB: Prologue).
In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the whole soul, the whole strength. Then, one’s neighbor as oneself…To love one’s enemies… And to respect the seniors. To love the juniors (RB 4: 1-2, 31, 68-69).
The juniors, therefore, should honor their seniors, and the seniors love their juniors (RB 63).
…so there is a good zeal which separates from vices and leads to God and to life everlasting. This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice with the most fervent love. Thus, they should anticipate one another in honor; most patiently endure one another’s infirmities, whether of body or of character; vie in paying obedience one to another — no one following what she considers useful for herself, but rather what benefits another; tender the charity of sisterhood chastely; fear God in love; love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity; prefer nothing whatever to Christ. And may He bring us all together to life everlasting (RB 72)!
Happy Valentines Day!
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