We invite you to discover the freedom that comes from living by a rule of life, by journeying through "A Framework for Freedom," a 7-week self-guided course to help you say "Yes" to your life.
The 49 videos move step-by-step through what a rule is, why to write how, how to process create one, and what to do once you've got one. Each day's video is also accompanied by a passage from the Brothers' Rule of Life, a quote from their sermons, and an image for meditation.
49 days to say "Yes" to your life. Start today.
A preaching series on the challenges and rewards of living by a rule of life. Drawing on chapters from SSJE's Rule.
To view the accompanying video series, please click here.
February 28 – Mutual Support and Encouragement – Br. Curtis Almquist
March 6 – Our Founders and the Grace of Tradition – Br. Geoffrey Tristram
March 13 – Our Dedication to the Disciple whom Jesus Loved – Br. Kevin Hackett
March 20 – The Maturing of Our Minds in Christ – Br. Mark Brown
March 27 – The Cell and Solitude – Br. David Vryhof
A Living Tradition Question: Several Brothers have preached and spoken of how tradition—and our Rule particularly—is less about the past than it is about the future, God’s future, and that therefore, always looking forward. Can you say more? Br. Geoffrey Tristram: Living under a rule of life, a regula, as the Latin says it, for…Read More
Question: Tradition is often cited as an authoritative source, with roots in the past. How does it function in the present Rule, and in the community’s life? Br. Kevin Hackett: Tradition is such a rich word, which in its Latin origins (traditio) means simply, “that which is handed on or over.” A past of some…Read More
Question: If tradition is rooted in the past, how do you discern what is worth handing on and what has served its usefulness in the life of a community. Br. Mark Brown: Tradition is like a relay race, really, in which one generation hands on the baton on to the next, and our handing on…Read More
Question: A feature new to this version of the Rule is a whole chapter dedicated to the Society’s founders and the graces of tradition (3). Why was this important to include? Br. Curtis Almquist: When we began the conversations about the Rule, we had no set agenda or any kind of imagined outcome. One of…Read More
Question: When the conversations about re-writing the Rule began, did you name certain assumptions that would inform the discussions, or were things more free form? Br. Curtis Almquist: The discussions were amazingly wide-ranging, but we knew that ultimately we were looking for boundaries. I would say that all of those discussions—some of which were incredibly…Read More
Question: Some Brothers have said they were glad they didn’t know how much work the rewriting would be, that some of the discussions redefined “perseverance.” Br. Jonathan Maury: It was hard work. Very hard, at times, even exhausting. But I think we were given grace in those early discussions that enabled us to do far…Read More
Question: As Brothers reminisce about the process of rewriting, it sounds like you were often in a very liminal space, spiritually. Did you realize that at the time or has awareness come in retrospect? Br. Jonathan Maury: I think it is true to say that, in the moment, it usually felt as though this was…Read More
Developing a Rule of Life My first attempt at a rule of life listed everything that I thought I could be doing in order to have a sound (self-satisfying) [impressive] spiritual life. My second attempt was three sentences long and abstract. Then I happened upon Basil Pennington’s The School of Love: the Cistercian Way to…Read More
Question: The Rule describes the Superior as the chief interpreter of the Rule. Br. Curtis, you were the first Superior whose tenure was entirely under its authority. Are there places in the Rule that required you to stretch that interpretative authority as the Community lived into its mandates? Br. Curtis Almquist: Oh yes. The most…Read More
Question: Br. Curtis, your nine years as Superior gave you the access of a surgeon to the Community and its life lived under this Rule. Can you comment on the vows as they are presented in the Rule? Br. Curtis Almquist: Gladly. I’ll do this in three parts, beginning with an integral aspect of our…Read More
Question: Yesterday we addressed how the Rule talks about money (and it sounded like the beginning of a new conversation). What do you want to take on next, sex or power? Br. Curtis Almquist: I’ll speak to the chapters we wrote on celibacy (9 – 11). I think the language is not quite real enough…Read More
Surprising Advice to a Newlywed When I was first ordained I confided to Sr. Andrea, at the Order of St. Helena, that I was having trouble finding time to read Morning Prayer. I was a newly wed at the time. She responded quickly and fervently: she didn’t think it was a good idea to roll…Read More
Question: We’ve talked about money and sex, which leaves us with the third vow. What might we say about obedience, about power? Br. Mark Brown: The three chapters on obedience (12 – 14) are extraordinarily subtle and forward-looking, and break new ground. The kind of obedience that the Rule imagines is very different from the…Read More
Question: Were there things that got left on the “cutting room floor” that you regret, turns of phrase, subjects, passages of Scripture that you wish had found their way into the finished text? Br. David Allen: I’m very happy with the Rule as it stands, of course, but I will say that I wish we…Read More
Question: Br. David, you’re now the senior Brother of the community, “the bearer of our corporate memory,” as the Rule says (47). You’ve lived under several different iterations of the Rule. When you consider the present version, how does it compare with what you experienced in earlier forms? Br. David Allen: Well, in many ways,…Read More
Question: One of the most fascinating points arising from these conversations is various Brothers’ memories of how a particular turn of phrase or word came to be used. What stands out to you from your experience of those conversations? Br. James Koester: Sometimes, I can hear the distinctive voices of Brothers—some still with us, some…Read More