Creating a Rule of Life
A Rule of Life helps ordinary people live extraordinary lives
Here you will find essential steps for developing a Rule of Life in order to join the Society of Urban Monks. Once completed, your Rule will likely be both similar to, and unique from, the Rules of others. Essential elements include the following commitments:
- Nurturing an intimate, personal, and private relationship with God through spiritual practices
- Growing an intimate, personal, and public relationship with God and others by integrating spiritual practices into various acts of charity
- Maturing your intimate, personal, and public relationship with God and others by using spiritual practices to seek and advance solutions to help solve social issues and injustices
- Caring for yourself and those closest to you by limiting fatigue, managing stress, and preventing burn-out.
You are encouraged to consider your Rule of Life as a living document. Thus, whatever you select or list for each step today you may revise tomorrow.
Step 1. Nurturing an intimate, personal, and private relationship with God through spiritual practices
List spiritual practices that you will use to nurture an intimate, personal, and private relationship with God.
You may want to begin by listing the ways you pray and read scripture. Perhaps you refer to your practices as daily bible reading, bible study, daily prayer, morning prayer, etc.
The following spiritual practices have developed over time. Some were developed over centuries and others during the past century. They can be found in various books, articles, and web sites and have been taught during retreats, workshops, and courses over the past several decades. All of these practices stem from prayer and/or scripture reading. However, there are various ways to pray and read scripture that these spiritual disciplines encourage.
- Centering Prayer
- Divine Prayer Offices of the Day
- Intercessory Prayer
- Lectio Divina
- Prayer of Examen
- Spiritual Direction
- Spiritual Discernment
- Theological Reflection
- Wounded Healer
Step 2. Growing an intimate, personal, and public relationship with God and others through various acts of charity
Please select or list any charitable acts or deeds that you will commit to on an on-going basis that will involve giving of your time or resources to individuals, groups, and/or organizations that help others in charitable ways. This can include:
- Providing your skills or professional expertise free of charge such as
- Financial services
- Health care
- Legal services
- Mental health care
- Repair work
- Substance abuse counseling
- Donate your time as a volunteer for business associations, civic groups, coalitions, neighborhood organizations, nonprofit agencies, etc.
- Serve on committees, advisory groups, boards of governance, task forces, working groups, charitable fundraising groups, etc.
- Donating food
- Serving food
- Donating clothing
- Donating household items
- Visiting the sick
- Visiting the imprisoned
Step 3. Maturing your intimate, personal, and public relationship with God and others by advancing solutions to solve social issues and injustices
Advancing solutions is usually beyond the ability of one person to solve. Working with others may include your involvement with a local group of neighbors, committee, commission, coalition, council, or collaboration that is focusing on an issue or injustice affecting your neighborhood and/or surrounding community. Examples may be lack of open space for children to play, a needed stop sign at a busy intersection, lack of a community center for youth and seniors, increase in crime, abandoned or deteriorating housing, or free-for-all graffiti.
Working with others may include an organization (or group of organizations) that is focusing on an issue or injustice affecting an entire city, county, state, region, and/or country. Examples may involve homelessness, poverty, hunger, violence, trauma, prejudice, discrimination, human trafficking, etc.
Step 4. Caring for yourself and those closest to you by limiting fatigue, managing stress, and preventing burn-out
You should incorporate into your life ways in which you will take care of yourself and those closest to you while engaged in acts of charity and actions to solve social issues and injustices. Such ways may include social and recreational activities such as walking, strolling, jogging, running, playing sports, dining out, picnics, watching movies, hobbies, crafts, and attending community events such as concerts, art fairs, etc. What resources that are available to you and what you can afford obviously needs to be taken into consideration when committing to these activities.