Lent with St. Benedict

Over the years I’ve used many tools, tricks and resources for my Lenten discipline. I bet you have too. I usually add something in Lent rather than subtract. I found, years ago, that subtraction just didn’t work for me. At about the same time my rector suggested that I add something such as reading a book, physical activity or writing. And pretty consistently this has worked for me.

The one I’m going to add this year is from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan. I’ve always found them to be good faithful folks who produce good materials. It’s on the above link about half way down the home page. It’s a simple resource of daily prayer in the Benedictine tradition, at 9 am and 3 pm. In the monastic tradition these are the services of None and Terce. They’re short and beautiful. The art on the pages is also beautiful. I will try to add some time of stillness at the beginning and end of each service.

If you’ve never explored the Rule of St. Benedict I encourage you to do so. My introduction to it was from the writing of Sister Joan Chittister, especially her books “The Rule of St. Benedict: Spirituality for the 21st Century” and “Wisdom Distilled from the Daily.”

I invite you to consider this practice, or another, for your Lenten journey this year. You might want to invite a few friends to join you either through Zoom or social media, or in just knowing that you’re all doing this together at the same times each day. You could also offer it on your church’s website or social media pages so that you are opening it to your larger neighborhood. Keep it simple. Short introductions might be necessary and then the service itself. Even through social media you can add some time of stillness. It’s great evangelism!

Enjoy and Happy Lent!

Carolyn M. Chilton

Coach (for Clergy, Clergy Spouses and Partners, and Lay Employees of the Church) and Congregational Consultant


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