This summer, the recommended reading list for my church community includes titles like The Rule of Benedict (Chittister), St. Francis of Assisi (Chesterton), and Establishing a Rule of Life (The Trinity Mission). We’re considering what it means to create a personal culture of faith by establishing a “rule” for living. For some, this looks like a detailed list of activities to be done every day, week, month, or year (like those who choose to live under Benedictine or Franciscan rule). For others, though, it’s simply a matter of deciding how we’d like to invest our time and resources and translating that into everyday life.
“Heaven’s kingdom realm can be compared to the tiny mustard seed that a man takes and plants in his field. Although the smallest of all the seeds, it eventually grows into the greatest of garden plants, becoming a tree for birds to come and build their nests in its branches.”
It could have been any sort of day, the day when the seed was planted. I imagine, for I know the sensation, that the seed felt like a splinter grown infected. The heat and tenderness of the spot made it almost intolerable. It had to be removed.
I’m new to the liturgical tradition. Growing up, we thought Episcopalians and Anglicans were people who didn’t have the nerve to call themselves what they were: Catholics. Lent fell neatly into the same category of things I didn’t know much about or care much about. From a distance, it looked like self-flagellation. I wanted no part of it.