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Via Media

How about….because I’m lame and hate thinking up titles to things?

No?

Okay…how about…St. Benedict?

Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn’t invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.

To tell the truth, you can blame my friend Matthew Lickona, author of Swimming with Scapulars, and co-commiserator on the miseries of the publishing world, both Catholic and secular.

We brainstormed on titles – well, actually, I asked him to brainstorm for me – and “The Middle Way” was one he came up with on my behalf and I think this is why, as I recall from what he has said in regard to my writing before: It’s not about an ideological middle road – at all. It’s about this drive I have to dig into arguments that are offered from any side of an issue and to try to understand the gist and essential point of what people are saying, to pull it out and try to make sense of it and understand it at the most basic level.

What I think I hear you saying is…

Ew. Maybe not.

Once I started thinking about it, though, I looked into Benedictine monasticism, because I knew there was an association there, and there is:

Via Media, The Middle Way of Measure and Discretion

Compared with the tradition and especially with
the Rule of the Master, Benedict
legislates for a monastic life that has rhythm, measure,
and discretion.
His monks are not overdriven by austerities in
fasting and night vigils. They do not own anything
personally, but they have enough to eat and to drink
(even wine when it is available) and to clothe
themselves. They work with their hands about six hours a
day but they also have leisure for prayerful reading
and common prayer. Their sleep is sufficient and
they may even take a siesta in summer if needed.
The young, the sick, and the elderly are cared for
with compassion and attention. The abbot, while he
directs all aspects of the common life, must seek
counsel from the monks; and the Rule makes
provision for his limitations and failings. In short,
RB arranges for a monastic life in which the monks may
seek God in prayer and reading, in silence and
work, in service to guests and to one another. 

I’m not claiming deep meaning here, folks. Maybe there is more meaning than my conscious self even knows – that the road ahead – the Via  – is going to be on that requires me to stay centered and grounded and be wary of lurching, careening, charging recklessly or attempting u-turns.

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