Crafting a Rule of Life to Stay Grounded

On Saturday 1st of April, we gathered once again in beautiful Ballycastle, on the north Mayo coast.  

This day away, focused on crafting a ‘rule of life’. This practice contains spiritual, relational and vocational rhythms which can shape our scattered lives.   

It is similar to a framework … a scaffolding … or a trellis.  

A ‘Rule of Life’ is like a trellis over which a plant grows.  

It is something which gives support. 

The most famous Rule of Life was written by St. Benedict, sometimes in the 540’s. Saint Benedict in his rule synthesized the monastic customs of his time. His three pillars for the monastic life are the Opus Dei (Divine Office), Lectio Divina and Work.  

It helps us to get our lives in balance, and makes us more intentional about what we do and how we choose to do it. 

Topics which we discussed were; 

  • Self-care 

Mind – Mental health, limiting device usage. 

Body – Healthy diet, exercise and body-image. 

  • Rest

What practices and rhythms of rest are built into your life? A weekly Sabbath, regular sleep, morning quiet time, silence and solitude. 

  • The Gift of Limits and Learning the Grace to say No!
  • Relationships – What are you doing to create nurture and deepen relationships?  You may need to think through the categories of relationships – family, friends, church and local community. Do you have an ‘anam cara’?

Who is ‘community’ to you? 

Who can your serve? 

  • Work and Money – what do we do with our time, money, resources and gifting?

Generosity and how do you practice generosity? 

  • Hospitality – When you consider hospitality, is there some who comes to mind with whom you could practice?
  • Devotional Practices – Prayer, Scripture Reading, Taking a Retreat
  • Creative Joy – it is a deeply spiritual thing. We should seek to employ it more and more Art, photography (Visio Divina), Gratitude Journaling, Cooking a meal … What is your definition of creativity as a spiritual practice?
  • Kinship with Creation – Gardening and caring for the creation.

Our next retreat will be on Saturday 20th of May at the North Mayo Heritage Centre at Enniscoe and will include access to the Walled Garden of Enniscoe House.  

These Retreats are part of the CoI MindMatters initiative.

Report and images – Marian Edwards, Church Army Evangelist, Ballina Churches Together