Sorting out a ‘Rule of Life’

One of the recommendations in the Catechism of the Canadian 1962 Book of Common Prayer is the creation of a personal rule of life. I’ve not investigated previous editions to know if they include this instruction. Nevertheless, I imagine few Canadians since 1962, let alone Anglicans at large beforehand, have followed through with this recommendation.

It is something that I have attempted before. I blogged about one attempt, and was told in the comments that I needed a spiritual father, otherwise I’d just fail.

As I reflect on the recommendations for individuals in The Apostolic Tradition as well as the reminders of asceticism for all believers that run through David W. Fagerberg’s On Liturgical Asceticism, I find myself musing on what my own ‘asceticism’, or askesis — the Greek word for training — or disciplina would look like.

As I sort it out, dealing with the passion of gluttony is one concern of mine, remembering that gluttony is not just eating too much (as yesterday here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving) but eating the wrong food and at the wrong time.

The other foundations must be prayer and Scripture-reading. I’ll post soon on the hours of prayer, I think. But I wonder if finding some way of praying at those times, as the ancient Christians and living monks do, might not be possible. Not a full-blown liturgy of the hours with set prayers, but times of prayer and remembrance, with maybe one or two offices proper mixed in?

What disciplines are you seeking to pursue in your own rule of life today?

2 thoughts on “Sorting out a ‘Rule of Life’

  1. Now there’s a good topic for a post.

    One of my current practices is to spend 2 hours a week in fellowship/conversation. This fights my natural tendency to isolate, and gives more opportunity to practice fellowship and love.

    Another practice that I’m doing on a trial basis is an end-of-day meditation on God’s love. I do this truly as I prepare to fall asleep — eyelids heavy, head on the pillow, all that. It’s a very simple one, keeping my mind on the verse “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” If it is brief as I drift off, I’m ok with that, figuring that securing our peace and rest is part of the point of God telling us that.

    Take care & God bless

    • Two hours a week in fellowship! I wouldn’t mind some more deep conversation in my spiritual life. This is a good idea.

      I also like the chosen meditation for the end of the day. Father Raphael says that praying the Jesus Prayer just before bed is a good idea!

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