RULE OF LIFE – THE BEGINNING....
Oh, boy, now we need to develop a rule for our lives when we have so many rules and regulations in our lives already from many entities.
WAIT, do not fear – this Rule is interior, not one put upon you. The only persons who know whether you "follow" it or now will be you and God.....and guess what? The Two of you should be modifying it as you practice it and work it out in your life, while listening to the still, small voice of our Lord in your personal and communal lives in the church body.
OK, so what is this Rule thing? Let me explain: a Rule of Life is a guide, a scaffold, a trellis on which you place those activities in your life which particularly point you to God. In researching this, I liked the image of a trellis, where a seed is planted, allowed to grow upward toward and with the Son along a framework which is modified for the size, need of the plant...
The best way to start is simply to record what you do daily, weekly, monthly and yearly in the service of our Lord. He wants you to grow in the Spirit. We should not all stay as we were when we first heard the Word and accepted Christ as our Savior – He has plans for us and a Rule helps us to hear and work out those Plans.
What a Rule of Life Is (adapted from A Rule of Life by Robert A. Gallagher)
A rule of life is the means by which an individual Christian establishes an intentional pattern of Christian discipline which can, over time, be reflected upon, revised, and deepened. Your rule is an expression of the faith and practice of the whole Church in your own life; a discipline freely taken on to give order, support, and direction to your life; and a means of rooting your life in Christ.
As each of our lives is unique, so each rule will have a somewhat different shape. However, every rule needs to have as its base and starting point the Anglican tradition’s threefold rule of prayer (Holy Eucharist, Daily Office, and Personal Devotions) and expression of the Christian life in worship, study and action. This helps us to give ourselves to an integrated pattern of life that is grounded in the larger Christian experience, rather than to make up our own list of "rules" to follow.
A rule needs to be:
1. Specific: You should be able to say whether or not you are doing it.
Developing Your Own Rule of Life
Use the following form to develop your rule. You may want to use it once to describe your present practice, then go back and draft your intentions for the future. Evaluate your projected rule in terms of the criteria already suggested (specific, realistic, sacrificial, flexible and responsive). All of this is best done in the context of prayer, and in discussion with another mature Christian.
RULE OF LIFE WORKSHEET
1. WORSHIP: "Continue…in the breaking of bread and the prayers."
A. Holy Eucharist: (Participate on all Sundays and major Holy Days)
B. Daily Office: (Which Office? When? Where? With Whom?)
C. Personal Devotion: (Intercession, recollection, meditation, etc.)
D. Other: (Penance, fasting, retreats, use of a spiritual guide, etc.)
2. STUDY: "…Continue in the apostle's teaching and fellowship."
A. Scripture: (Pattern for regular study of the Scriptures.)
B. Christian doctrine, Church history, Ethics, etc.: (Pattern of reading and &frasl or group study.)
C. Being Equipped for Worship and Christian Action.
3. CHRISTIAN ACTION "…To represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be." Describe your responsibilities and opportunities for service, evangelization and stewardship in the various areas of your life.
A. Family and Friends:
C. Community ⁄ Neighborhood ⁄ As a citizen:
E. Self (Appropriate attention to your own needs; management of time and responsibilities, etc.):
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