We appreciate this description of a Rule of Life from the Northumbrian Community:
“A Rule of life is absolutely essential to any monastic expression, and is a spiritual rather than a legislative document. It says ‘this is who we are, this is our story’ and reminds us of those things God has put on our heart, and calls us back to the story that God has written as foundational.”
Monastic stability is to be accountable to a Rule of life as a framework for freedom, not as a set of rules that restrict or deny life, but as a way of living out our vocation alone and together. It is, to use the words of St Benedict, ‘simply a handbook to make the radical demands of the gospel a practical reality in daily life’.
Our style is structured and reflective with plenty of space for the Lord to meet with us. Our rhythms (daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal) are the outworking of our Rule. Our Rule also reflects the Sacred Space to which we intentionally placed ourselves – a remote piece of land surrounded by some of the most pristine wilderness left in America … a peaceful place at the end of a road that goes nowhere.
The Rule we embrace and keep:
‘Be content to live an anonymous, unspectacular, misunderstood life among people. Choose where possible those places and jobs where people are oppressed or deprived. Let Christ transfigure the darkness in ourselves and in the world. Let there be great care to maintain the simplicity of presence… Love what is obscure and little for there you will find Christ’. **
**adapted from The Community of the Transfiguration