Well, we’re a week into Lent and I have already failed at my chosen Lenten discipline — to blog regularly. You see, since becoming an official Middlebrow blogger last August I have managed to post a whopping four or five blogs. My colleagues on this blog can reach that total in a week (or less)! So, I decided to take the advice of the Christian sage Benedict of Nursia and blog. “Excuse me,” you ask. How exactly does an early sixth century monk instruct a twenty-first century person to blog? Great question!
Benedict writes the following in Chapter 49 of his Regula,
During these days, therefore, let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service, as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink. Thus everyone of his own will may offer God “with joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:6) something above the measure required of him.
There are several significant points to notice: (1) Benedict presumes that even outside of Lent one is living some form of a disciplined, Lenten-style life (“usual burden”); (2) like many people today Benedict thought that changing some aspect of our dietary lifestyle was Lenten (“abstinence in food and drink”); and most significantly (3) Benedict believed that a person could exercise their Lenten discipline by not only giving something up (food or drink) but by also adding something to our normal routine (“let us increase” and “something above the measure”). So, for Lent, I have decided to add regular blogging to my already “usual burden.” Now, as I mentioned above, I have already dropped the ball on this Lenten discipline but with only 32 days left, it’s time to get started!