A Draft Rule of Life

4 May 2009

Prayer
During Advent and Lent, the daily office shall be prayed from the Roman Breviary, 1964; the gradual psalms and seven penitential psalms with the litany and its prayers will be prayed as often as possible.  During Christmas, Easter, and Ordinary Time, the Monastic Breviary of the Order of the Holy Cross shall be used for the daily office.

The Angelus or Regina Coeli shall be prayed upon rising, at noon, and at 6 pm every day.

The Rosary shall be prayed every day in Advent and Lent, and daily, if possible, during the other seasons.

Silence
One hour shall be spent in silence and stillness per week, hopefully increased to three.

Retreat
A multi-day retreat shall be made four times a year, once in Advent, once in Lent, once on the Feast of Benedict in July, and once in September.  The Advent, Lent, and September retreats should coincide with Ember Friday and Saturday if possible.

Single day retreats are also recommended, but not in the same month as a multi-day retreat.  If retreats coincide with Ember Days, those days will be fast free; the Ember Day fasts should be transferred to the preceding or following Friday and Saturday.

Fasting
During Advent and Lent, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will be fast days; alcohol and animal products will be avoided as much as possible.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a small breakfast shall be taken before exercise.  On Saturdays, no breakfast shall be eaten.  From Vespers of Saturday until Compline of Sunday will be fast free.  Ember Saturdays will be fast days as much as possible.

During Christmas and Easter, there will be no fasting, with the exception of the Rogation Days.

During Ordinary Time, Wednesdays and Fridays will be fast days; alcohol and animal products will be avoided on Fridays as much as possible.  Alcohol shall be limited to no more than four drinks from Monday until Saturday Vespers, with no more than three drinks on one night.

Feast days shall be fast free.  Feast days shall be the Principal and Major Holy Days as outlined in the Book of Common Prayer, and the Feasts of Saint Anthony of the Desert (January 17), Ordination of Florence Li Tim-Oi (January 24), Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas (March 7), Gregory of Rome (March 12), Benedict (March 21), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (April 9), George (April 23), Romuald (June 19), Benedict (July 11), Henry (July 13), Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16), Mary Magdalene (July 22), Bernard of Clairvaux (August 20), Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8), the Martyrs of Memphis (September 9), Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7), Consecration of Samuel Seabury (November 17), Thomas Merton (December 10), and Thomas the Apostle (December 21).

Sacramental Life
In remembrance of baptism, holy water will be used every day.

The Eucharist will be attended every Sunday, in so far as this is possible, and receive Communion on Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent and Advent.  If the Eucharist cannot be attended on a Sunday, the Eucharist should be attended at some point before the next Sunday.

Confession will be made at least four times a year: on or before the Advent Ember Friday, on or  before Good Friday, on or before the Feast of Benedict, and on or before the Feast of the Holy Cross.

Opportunities for anointing will be taken advantage of whenever practical, especially in the face of health problems.

Study, Reading, and Writing
At least a half hour a day or 3 hours a week shall be spent writing poetry.  Every Friday, some time should be made for submitting poetry for publication.

One hour a week shall be spent translating Spanish.

Three hours a week shall be spent reading Greek.

One novel or short story collection, one new collection of poetry (less than a year old), one old collection of poetry, and one nonfiction book shall be read per quarter.

Some short devotional work shall be read in Lent.  Some work of the Fathers and Mothers shall be read in Easter.  During the summer a work of non-Christian religious origin shall be read.

No additional spiritual reading shall be taken on during Advent.

Communication Disciplines
Aimless, recreational internet use shall be limited to one hour a day, six days a week.  ‘Blogging, research, and work-, school-, writing-, and church-related emailing do not count against the one hour limit.

Sundays and feast days Internet use shall be limited as much as possible.

A written, paper letter shall be written and one phone call made to different friends living outside the Chicago every month.

Family Responsibilities

At least one date per month with Beth shall be planned.

At least one special activity with Hank a month shall be planned.

Overriding, Reviewing, and Revising the Rule
Charity and compassion being the overriding Christian virtues, this rule shall not apply whenever Christian charity and hospitality shall dictate.

The Rule must be reviewed during each quarterly retreat, and revised as necessary.

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2 Responses to “A Draft Rule of Life”

  1. Mothers Says:

    […] A Draft Rule of Life […]


  2. Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for blogging. I will likely be coming back to your blog. Keep up the good posts

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