Sep 22, 2006
New Monasticism part two
I picked up a copy of the Northumbria Community's book: Celtic Daily Prayer, Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community. The introduction, written by Richard J. Foster, helps explain the way this community is taking the old monastic rule and using it today, not by living by rigid rules and being isolated, the way the ancient monks would have, but by adjusting it for our lifestyles today. The group defines community not by communal living, but by joining together, in prayer and in commitment, to take this spiritual journey. From the intro: "These are folks who live in ordinary life, who face daily all the demands that you and I must face--demands of family and work, school and home." And speaking of the Sermon on the Mount, "For them this Sermon must never be relegated to another dispensation or viewed as utopian sayings to be admired in the abstract. Instead, this, Jesus' greatest teaching on how we are to live, is, very simply, to be lived--right in the midst of the pressures of contemporary society."
Everytime I read Matthew 5-7, there is always something new that pops out at me. This time it is the theme of worry. Not only is worry a problem for us in our everyday lives, but it's a problem for the church as well. Jesus tells us not to worry, but it's still hard not to, isn't it?
Well, that's something to think about. Another aspect that is central to this group's identity is its commitment to prayer. That's what I'll talk about next Friday, along with Esther De Waal's The Celtic Way of Prayer.