Live with Monastic Rhythms to your Days, Weeks, Months, and Years

Live with Monastic Rhythms to your Days, Weeks, Months, and Years

Return to our Way of Life

We establish active rhythms in our days, weeks, months, and years. They help us center and prioritize our love for God. Simple rhythms grounded in love sustain us. They weave themselves around and through our lives.

There is a natural ebb and flow to our lives. Like the tides of the sea, we can see various patterns and rhythms in our lives. Rhythms rolling and flowing through our days, weeks, months, and years. It can feel like a lot, to live a life structured by rhythmic spiritual practices. Our practices are ones that have sustained monastics for millennia.

The structure of these practices is like the walls of a home. They create space for life to be lived within. They make the rooms where we are nourished, held, grow, reset, and enjoy the companionship of others. Let us establish rhythms that focus our whole selves on loving God. In life, we share meals and time with friends or family. Likewise, let us dedicate ourselves to the Divine Office, fasting, and the divine meal of the Eucharist with our God.

Across the many days of our lives, these practices will journey with us. They will transform over time as who we are transforms. Within the seasons of our life, the words, prayers, postures, and our presence with God will shift. We are told there will be times of grief and times of joy. We will have times to plant, to tend, and to harvest. There will be times for us to wait out winter’s long nights until spring comes again.

Life can only carry us forward through time. Each day brings us further from birth and closer to death. We have a choice to be active in the rhythms we establish in our life. We can actively choose the structures we build into our days, weeks, and years. Let us place and build structures that are without shame and abound in love. These rhythms will include prayer, work, reading spiritual texts, rest, fasting, mourning, and celebration.

You can establish simple rhythmic patterns set upon foundations of grace. Their simplicity comes not from their brevity or their lack of impact. They are simple because of their repetition. They are simple because one can start without much instruction. They are simple because the rhythm has already made a choice for us. These practices await you in this moment and in every moment. They invite you. They call to you. They welcome you much like the feeling of returning home after a trip away.

These rhythms do more than support and sustain a monastic way of living. They help us live through and embody meaningful theological realities. They help us reflect on and experience the life of Christ. They invite us to a more full experience of what it means to be alive. Our rhythms help us explore what it means to be a child of God. Rhythmic practices let us see and taste the coming Kingdom of God. This is the kingdom that we live for, long for, and that holds our hope. Our life of rhythms help sustain us until our eyes will see Jesus alive and reigning upon his throne.

Invitations to Engage

  • How can you create space, within the fullness of your life, for the rhythms you feel invited to?
  • How might you be able to have more simplicity and balance in your rhythms?
  • How have your rhythms helped you embody your beliefs and experience the life of Christ?
  • Meditate on ways your rhythms may come from a place of shame. Then pray for them to be transformed to grow out of grace and love.
  • Monastic rhythms can be about doing without. What rhythms or patterns may you be invited to scale back or stop?
  • Contemplate how you are invited to be present with God through the rhythms in your life right now.
  • Reflect on what your current daily, weekly, monthly, and annual spiritual rhythms are. Celebrate what is, and then prayerfully consider what could be.
  • Contemplate and meditate on the ways you live within the space your rhythms create.
  • Reflect on your experience of daily praying the divine office, weekly fasting and taking the Eucharist, and yearly seeking retreat with God.
  • You share similar rhythms with others around the world. Reflect on the ways that unity of rhythms creates a spiritual community that binds us with one another.

Meditations on this Rule