Benedicts Rule of Discernment

Topics: Run Lola Run, Benedict of Nursia, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Pages: 6 (2562 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Midterm Paper Assignment, 10/28/13
Part 1: In the beginning of class we were proposed a model of discernment from the Rule of Saint Benedict. “Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.” (St. Benedict, Prologue Page 1) With this rule as Benedict explains in his reading and in the presentation notes in class Benedict tells us the basis of his model of receptivity, reflectivity, and activity. (Model of Vocation Part. 1 page 3). For each word Benedict tells what to do with each word or phrase and how to use it like the word receptivity (Model of Vocation Part 1, Slide 3, point 1). When receiving something or listening it is need people must listen to God in the many ways that he intends to get the attention of us. Some possible ways he can try to tell people something is by the words of the bible in church and outcomes in normal human life and how he tries to lean us towards one path over the other. Maybe someone new comes into one’s life and influences this person to God’s word who maybe wasn’t on the right path. This could be God’s way of speaking to us without even really thinking about it. “If you hear His voice today, do not harden your hearts,” (Ps 94 [95]:8), St. Benedict, Prologue, pg. 1) This quote explains that if we do by chance get to hear God in any way don’t turn the other way and deny listening to him, but instead embrace the words he is preaching. Reflectivity is the next step in the Benedict Rule of discernment. For this step it is just thinking of what you receive from God (Model of Vocation Part 1, page 3, point 2). When using this step and trying to figure out what God is saying to people, people must seek out how to interpret his words. An example would be if a person is not having success at their current job and really isn’t enjoying their life. Is God telling you to switch jobs in order to get more satisfaction in your life while possibly helping others? First step is thinking deeply about your current situation and possibly seeking help of others to help make this choice and make sure this person is understanding God correctly and maybe toughing the situation out. Overall when receiving the word of God the key part is truly thinking about what he is telling people and understand what God is saying so that his words are not interpreted in the wrong way. The last step of discernment for the Rule of St. Benedict is Activity (Model of Vocation Part 1, slide 3, point 3). This is putting God’s word into action after understanding what is being said. Things that God could be trying to do is push a person in a certain direction for your life, to help someone else, or just a simple thing like having a better attitude in life.

The St. Benedict’s Rule of Discernment is very easy to understand once simplified but hard to follow at certain points. Once realization occurs and understanding of all three parts in the See, Judge, Act (Model of Vocation Part 1, Slide 3) following it is easier to achieve. “If you hear His voice today, do not harden your hearts,”(Ps 94 [95]:8). 11And again, “You that have ears to hear, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches,” (Rev 2:7). 12And what does he say? “Come and listen to me, sons; I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” (Ps 33[34]:12). 13“Run while you have the light of life, that the darkness of death may not overtake you.” (John 12:35). (St. Benedict, Prologue Page 1)

This is just one of the many examples in the Prologue but they all have the same three parts of listening, understanding what is said, then acting upon what has been said to you. Part 2: Besides the models presented in class we have learned many others such as The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho. In this it novel Santiago, the main character, learns to understand the omens to find his personal legend. For his...


Cited: Run Lola Run
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Dietrich Bonhoeffer video
Bonhoeffer reading (Moodle)
Model of Vocation Part 1
St. Benedicts Reading
Prologue (St. Benedict
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