Live with Monastic Rhythms to your Days, Weeks, Months, and Years
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. They sustain us. They weave themselves around and through our lives.
Invitations to Engage
- How can you create space, amidst the rest of your life, for the rhythms you feel invited to?
- How might you be able to have more simplicity and balance in your rhythms?
- Meditate on ways your rhythms may come from a place of shame. Then pray for them to be transformed into grace and love.
- Monastic rhythms can be about doing without. What rhythms or patterns may you be invited to scale back or stop?
- Contemplate on how you are invited to be present with God through the rhythms in your life right now.
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 that roll and flow through our days, weeks, months, and years. It can feel like a lot. To live a life structured by rhythmic spiritual practices. Practices 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. To be nourished, held, to 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 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. That there are times to plant, to tend, and to harvest. There are times to wait out the long nights until spring.
Life can only carry us forward through time. Each day brings us further from birth and closer to death. We can then choose to be active in the rhythms we establish. Actively choosing the structures we build into our days, weeks, and years. Structures that have no shame and abound in love. These rhythms will include prayer, work, reading spiritual texts, rest, fasting, mourning, and celebration.
Keep simple patterns set upon foundations of grace. The simplicity of the rhythms 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. 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. Of what it means to be a child of God. Rhythmic practices let us see and taste the coming Kingdom of God. The kingdom that we live for, long for, and that holds our hope. That holds Jesus and his throne.