Jesus aid to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Mt. 22:37)
As the only Benedictine parish in New Hampshire, Saint Raphael Church strives to promote the spirituality and the core values of the Benedictine tradition. While many think of this tradition as only having a place in monasteries, Saint Benedict intended his Rule to be approachable and inviting to all who encountered it. The precepts of his Rule can be incorporated into the lives of all who strive to follow the call of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN has created the following synopsis of the Benedictine way of life. We hope and pray that you find these prescriptions for living a loving and godly life to be helpful in deepening your faith.
- We acknowledge the primacy of God. To look for God in the ordinary events of each day. “We believe that the divine presence is everywhere” (RB 19:1)
- We are committed to forming stable relationships in the community. To become who we are by our relationships with others. “…and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.” (RB 72:12)
- We call the community together for counsel to make decisions. To cultivate a rootedness and a shared sense of mission, to stand firm in our promises. “As often as anything important is to be done … the abbot shall call the whole community together and explain what the business is…” (RB 3:1)
- We reverence all persons. To respect each person regardless of class, cultural background or professional skill. “No one is to pursue what is judged best for oneself, but instead, what is better for someone else.” (RB 72:7)
- We listen reverently with the ear of our heart. To hear keenly and sensitively the voices of persons and all created beings. “Listen with the ear of your heart.” (RB Prologue 1)
- We are committed to stability of place. To appreciate the dignity of work in God’s creation. “…they live by the labor of their hands.” RB 48:8
- We practice hospitality and respect for all persons. To offer warmth, acceptance and joy in welcoming others. “Let all … be received as Christ.” (RB 53:1)
- We reverence all creation. To appreciate and to care lovingly for all the goods of this place. “Regard all utensils as if they were sacred vessels of the altar.” (RB 31:10)
- We foster an environment for deep transformation of the whole person (conversatio). To practice enthusiasm for conversatio. “Through this love, all … will now begin to be observed without effort, as though naturally, for habit, … out of love for Christ, good habit, and delight in virtue.” (RB 7:68-69)
- We are committed to practicing simplicity and frugality. To be content with living simply and finding balance in work, prayer, and leisure. “All things are done in moderation.” (RB 48:9)
- We integrate a commitment to the common good and respect for the individual. To develop a robust sense of the common good. “We intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service… We hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. The good of all concerned may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.” (RB Prologue 45-47)
- We are committed to practicing justice. To work toward a just order in our immediate environment and in the larger society. “that in all things may God be glorified.” (RB 57:9)