I have found that any number of people question me about the purpose and or benefits of the disciplines within the Christian walk of faith. I embrace the offices of the hours, modified to become a comfortable and comforting practice within my schedule as mediator, spiritual director, writer and communicator. Each one of our lives has a distinct and different shape because of the demands work places upon us, the season of life’s journey we are on and other essential factors.
However, discipline is required in responding to Jesus’ invitation to, ‘Follow me’. I am taken with Brother Roger’s words in the Introduction to the Taize Rule and present them here for our meditation and enrichment.
“The purpose of the disciplines is not for your own sake. Gaining mastery over yourself has no other aim than to render you more available. No pointless abstaining; keep to what God asks. Bear the burdens of others, accept the minor hurts each day brings, so as to share concretely in the sufferings of Christ:this is our first discipline….
…You would restrict your understanding of the gospel if, for fear of losing your life, you withheld some part of yourself. Unless the grain of wheat dies, you cannot hope to see your life develop and blossom into the fullness of Christian living…In order for the light of Christ to permeate you, it is not enough to gaze on it: you need to commit yourself resolutely, body and soul, to the path.”
Be joyful in your active pursuit of God – the blessed invitation to follow carries with it a commitment to apply ourselves to the ways of God as revealed through scripture and celebrated in the Eucharist, where we are welcomed, refreshed and envisioned once more.