Chapter 4 of St Benedict’s Rule is simply a list. Titled “The Tools (or Instruments) of Good Works,” St Benedict simply enumerates the tools without preamble or comment. Even so, he reveals a lot.
First, St Benedict presumes that we want to do good works. No need to coax or persuade someone – they will want to join in.
Second, St Benedict wants us to know there are dozens of practices that live out our monastic profession to seek God. Long before social media existed, he knew the pull of “72 ways to serve God in your neighbor”
We tend to read the list quickly. “Nope, I have not killed or blasphemed anyone: must be okay.” Lent provides a chance to consider St Benedict’s list more closely, and with deeper prayer.
Tooling Through Lent is a series of brief reflections on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Benedict, The Tools for Good Works.