Update (March 2005)
There must be something in the monastic gene pool that enables us to embrace Lent each year as a sure part of our journey to God. Benedict in his rule tells us, “The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent.” (RB49:1) He goes on to explain that few would have the strength for such a rigorous life, so we should, at minimum, use the season of Lent to our advantage. There are deﬁnite behavioral expectations: adding to our prayer, our reading, abstaining from food and drink, time in silence and lectio beyond the ordinary measure. Monasticism is a lifestyle, not merely a concept. It must translate to action and behavior in our individual and communal life. It is time to renew and strengthen the religious center of gravity that holds us, as community, in the common search for God.