The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 50
"When the ideal [of community prayer, the Opus Dei,] is confronted by the real, Benedict opts for the sanctification of the real rather than the idealization of the holy," writes Sr. Joan in her commentary on Chapter 50. This little chapter is of central importance for those of us who seek to practice Benedictine disciplines outside of the cloister. We must be about the sanctification of the real, if we are to have any hope of staying remotely close to the path that our Father Benedict has laid out.
One way we sanctify the real is by finding in the circumstances of our real life the stories of the Faith. And one way human beings have found to embody the Divine Presence in the mundane settings we call "real" is through the imaginative work of legend and myth. The early Christians in Britain found in Joseph of Arimathaea a connection between life on the ground in what is now called Cornwall and Glastonbury and the story of Jesus' Passion and Death. This connection bore the fruit of the Grail myths, a powerful transformative tradition in the West for nearly 1000 years.
It is the work of each Benedictine community to connect its daily reality, wherever it may be, to the luminous Presence embodied by St. Benedict of Nursia in 6th Century Italy. Shaping our real lives around daily prayer is the place to begin.