Learning from Benedict
The new Pope faces many challenges. But whether Catholic or not, all of Christendom can learn from his namesake, Benedict. The rule for the Benedictine order has become the classic text of Western Monasticism, and has been one of the great means of encouraging the balance of work, rest and prayer that is so needful in our lives today.
As evangelicals who are rooted in grace, we need to recognize the liability that comes when grace seeks to stand alone. Paul articulated it in Romans 6 when he reminds us that Christ didn't die alone. We, by virtue of our union with Him, died with Him on the cross in some mysterious way, and our life, the one we now live, is to be lived out from that position of union, crucifixion, and resurrection life. And while we may part ways with our Catholic friends on matters of the priesthood and Mary, we are indebted to them for saints such as Benedict who call us to move beyond a mere outward form of Christianity, and to move beyond empty professions of faith that aren't reinforced by a change in lifestyle.
This is why I'm excited to be practicing the Aidan Way (see link from last week), because it is a means where by the work of God has the opportunity to take root in my life.
We pray for the new Pope, and it seems that there is much more to write about issues related to his rule, but for now, I am grateful for the name: Benedict. I pray that I will stay on the challenging path of developing a practice of faith, so that it doesn't remain in my head!