Small Group Study Based on
Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
By Joan Chittister, OSB
Developed by Andy Little
– A WORD COPY OF EACH, WITH PERMISSION TO USE, WILL BE EMAILLED TO YOU UPON REQUEST
Statement of Purpose:
This small group is to help those curious about Christian spirituality come to a more personal understanding of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and how God works in our everyday lives. We will use the Rule of St. Benedict, a guide to spirituality used since the sixth century, to find ways to “fill up the emptiness and heal the brokenness in which most of us live in ways that are sensible, humane, whole, and accessible to an overworked, overstimulated, overscheduled human race”.
The Rule, actually more of a signpost to life, is one element to finding spirituality. Benedict believed you experienced spirituality through the Scriptures, wise leaders and the realities of life in community, besides the application of his rule. This study, then, is the beginning of a process to find God in our everyday lives.
There is no single prescription for Christian spirituality, nor any quick “fast-food” approach to developing a closer relationship with the Creator. Therefore, there will be no wrong answers to questions posed, or statements that will warrant lectures or corrections. We need to be willing to expose our underbellies in examining our life and faith walks, and in recounting our personal stories and reflections. Therefore, confidentiality and trust are essential ingredients to this group’s life together. The exercises described, and the group participation needed, are vital to the development of the entire group. Out of consideration for each of the members of this group, we need to examine our own ability to commit to this series of meetings and the exercises within them. Other than these, there are no rules. It is incumbent on each of us to hold the rest, especially the leader, accountable to these principles.
This group is about each of us individually, and all of us together, finding a signpost to direct us in God’s direction. It is assumed that if all were to take the same path, that road would be crowded and very limited. God is not linear, or bounded in any direction by our understanding, but our understanding can be restricted by our own history and personalities, not to mention our human nature. We will not leave this group with knowledge of the meaning of life, but possibly with a little more enlightenment of our own meaning – right here, right now – and a sense of how we might continue to pursue life holding God’s hand and looking for God’s direction.
Overview and Initial Instructions
Week One: Listening for God – Being an Open Heart
Week Two: Prayer – Consciousness of God
Week Three: Community – Eating with 3ft Chopsticks
Week Four: Humility – Acknowledging God’s Gifts
Week Five: Mindfulness – Finding Harmony
Week Six: Work & Play – Finding Balance
Week Seven: Hospitality – Pouring Ourselves Out
Week Eight: Obedience – Freedom to be Responsible
Week Nine: Stability – Totally in God & for Others
Week Ten: Peace – Finding Justice
Week Eleven: Living St. Benedict’s Vision