Monday, May 16, 2011


"I vividly recall, my first visit to a monastery in October 1986, and the deep sense of peace which came upon me as I sat quietly in the cloister garden. I had come home. Monasteries offer a beautiful design that serves the needs and purposes of the monastic community as well as those who come as guests. You’ll almost always find an enclosed garden at the center of the monastery, surrounded by the sanctuary, dining hall, kitchen, and dormitory. Nearby, you’ll find the guest house, along with other rooms, including workshops, an infirmary, and the library.
Like the design of a monastery, blueprints for family spirituality are designed to serve the needs and purposes of families seeking to live together in love. My wife and I shared many conversations regarding patterns of parenting when we became pregnant with our firstborn. Choosing a family blueprint is not easy, but it is essential for the crafting of a well-built family. Benedict’s design for communal spiritual life has stood the test of time, and can offer busy families today wisdom and guidance for finding their way home.
            Benedict's family was a community of monks, living under the leadership of an abbot or “father”, and guided by a common “rule of life.” The word "rule" . . . comes from the Latin word regula, meaning a measuring tool or guidebook. From the foundation of Benedict’s Rule, written in the sixth century, there developed thousands of long-enduring spiritual communities across the landscape of Europe, and later around the world, providing stability and wisdom across generations. 
           Every family lives according to some type of design whether consciously or not.  But without a wise blueprint and a good foundation, a family may not endure the storms that lie ahead. Many parents that I know have combined family blueprints from their upbringings. Most parents also seek guidance in the ongoing challenge of raising children."(1)
(1) Excerpt from The Busy Family's Guide to Spirituality (New York; Crossroad Publishing Company, 2010), 9-10;  by David Robinson. Used with permission.

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