“To become a stranger to wordly behavior” (Rule of Benedict 4.20) also translated:
“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way”
A dangerous instruction this – tempting us to judge anything we don’t like as “worldly.” StBenedict’s next few instructions give context and meaning to prevent harsh scrupulosity.
Benedict’s Rule teaches us counter-cultural perspectives. My possessions, time, skills, even my body belong to “us” in community, not to me. My actions should be guided by this ancient document rather than current psychological theories, social norms or metrics of success.
This open-ended instruction calls Benedictines to mindfulness – to reflect on our words and deeds. To note where immersion in the world took hold. To be ready to begin anew each day.