Run while you have the light of life, that the darkness of death may not overtake you. (John 12:35, RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in English, p.16).
St. Benedict made a word change to this verse from John 12:35. The original wording was “walk while you have the light.” St. Benedict wants us to have a sense of urgency. He knows that when we walk, we can be slow and sluggish. He wants us to not waste time. We only have so much time. Think of a day when you were walking on your way to do something, and your parent or spouse who wanted it done immediately said, “run.”
The context of these words are taken from the Prologue in which St. Benedict is calling us to rise from our sleep and listen to God’s voice teaching us how to love God. St. Benedict is telling us to wake up and run to do what the Lord gives us to do in the here and now, before it is too late. The light of life is given to us only so long. Hurry up! Get going! God has so many graces and blessings for us today. God cannot wait to share them with us and others around us. God will talk with us in our moments of solitude and silence. God will work through us in our difficulties and successes. God will speak to us through the events of life. The Holy Spirit will empower us. Jesus, the Incarnate Word will show us “the way.”
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB