What Exactly is a Rule of Life?

For starters, let me say that it’s not about a schedule; it’s about a flexible routine that enables you to create stability, both spiritually and personally in your vocation. Here are my favorite definitions. The best, in my opinion, is the first and shortest, as it captures the traditional essence of a Rule.

A Rule is most often a chosen daily pattern of life and is arranged so that there area particular moments in the day when certain things are done.

Corinne Ware, St. Benedict on the Freeway

The second is much more comprehensive and deals with the underlying motivation as well as reminding us the Rule’s focus is the essential responsibilities of one’s vocation in any particular season of life.

A Rule of Life is not just  a schedule, not just a collection of activities organized into a set pattern for repetition. A rule is an organization of everything that has to do with your vocation, based on a hierarchy of the priorities that define the vocation and done with the intent to please God. It deals with the essential responsibilities of your state of life, organized to ensure their fulfillment.

Holly Pierlot, A Mother’s Rule of Life

Hopefully these will have provided some clarity about what it is I and many others are doing when we say we are trying to live by a Rule.

 

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