03 November 2008

Questions on your Rule of Life. It is Missing!

[[Hi Sister O'Neal. I have been reading your blog regularly for some time and I was looking for some of the older posts you had put up from your own Rule of Life. I can't locate them though. Did I mistakenly miss them? I have been writing a Rule and wanted to compare what I have with yours.]]

LOL! I have been waiting for someone to complain (or ask anyway) about the missing posts! Over the past year I have received a number of requests for assistance in writing a personal Plan or Rule of Life. Several of these (three quite recent and not counting your question) were from serious candidates for Canon 603 profession. In the meantime I have worked on a couple of serious revisions of my own Rule which still need to be incorporated and approved by my Bishop, and I also am working on a project which would provide an eremitical Rule and essays on aspects of the contents -- sort of a Rule and Commentary -- as a model for those interested in writing and living their own, for whatever the reason. (As noted in other posts, many could benefit from writing such a Rule, and my own Rule has been used by non-hermit seniors who live alone and deal with many of the dynamics of the hermit.) In discussing the project with my diocesan delegate about a month ago we talked about publishing a kind of "how to" book on writing a Rule, and while I could not do that precise thing I could address some of the issues involved which hermit candidates should consider in undertaking the writing of a Rule. That is the project on hand and I am pretty excited about it.

Because of this project, and my hope to publish my own Rule as a piece of it, along with concern about giving too much assistance to folks , I have removed my own Rule from this site for the time being. While I want to assist people in writing Rules, I am completely convinced of the messy but undeniable wisdom of the person muddling through until they come up with their own Rule, and that includes doing as many drafts as it takes to come to clarity on what they are living and why. Writing is a creative act --- we all know this. But what some may not understand, especially if they do not spend much time writing, is that writing is also an act where we come to know things which were hitherto unclear or even completely unknown. We write to learn, not simply to share what we already know.

Further, as I noted in a couple of earlier posts, it remains the case that dioceses look to the quality and content of the Rule to assist in discernment of a vocation to diocesan (C 603) eremitical life. Now, I know that my rule of life gets lots of hits by readers as does the key phrase "writing a Rule of Life" and I suspect some will miss these posts. Hopefully I can restore them when the project is finished or largely completed. I am hoping to do this in several months. For now, I am sorry for the inconvenience and offer my thanks for your patience. In the meantime, if you have specific questions or are struggling with some particular issue, feel free to write me about it. If I can help, I will be happy to do so.