Advent Reflection: Keeping Watch, Becoming


With Christ’s spirit working within us we can be the means by which his saving work is extended throughout the world. We become his hands, his feet, his voice, and like Mary his mother, bring Christ into the world for others. -Br. Eldridge Pendleton, SSJE.  (Taken from Brother Give Us a Word.  A Ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist).

One of the greatest teachings from The Rule of St. Benedict is, “always we begin again.”  Today, we will have those choices before us that I wrote about two blogs ago.  We can chose to allow ourselves to become Christ for others in the world.  We can also chose to just live the day for ourselves.

Allow me to be more fair by writing that all of us need some time to ourselves.  In Chapter one of The Rule of St. Benedict, he describes four kinds of monks.  The first two types of monks are the cenobites and the anchorites or hermits are among the monks he had a lot of admiration for.  The cenobites live in a monastic community under a rule and in obedience to an abbot.  The anchorites or hermits live a more solitary life. Benedict would’ve had to think well of both, because he spent three years in solitude at the cave in Subiaco before he eventually went to Monte Cassino where he wrote The Rule.  The point of historical certainty is, that whether Benedict was at Subiaco or Monte Cassino; he drew individuals who were yearning for something he was finding.

It is important that we allow ourselves to become who God has created and redeemed us to be.  We can learn more about who we are and who we are to become, by spending moments in solitude with God along side periods of work, study, social interaction and recreation.  A balanced spiritual life makes time for all these various things.  The things are the simple part.  The balance is what we all need God’s grace to work at.

In our Advent watching, may we become a greater image of God for ourselves and others as we strive for a better balance in our daily life.


Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB

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