Seasons change, of course, even in the monastery. The Rule [of St. Benedict] has a whole series of things that change for the monks when the seasons change. The workload changes and so do the clothes. The hours for daily prayer are shifted around because of specific work that has to be done. The meals change and so do the times in which they are served.

All of which suggests to me that from time to time I need to be about the business of examining my life and the way that I am living it. If for no other reason than to be sure that my rule for prayer and rest and community and work still makes sense in the light of the new days in which I am living.

Sometimes letting go of a spiritual practice can be as important as adding a new one. Sometimes reshaping one to account for a new set of circumstances is needed. Sometimes there is a hole in our spiritual practice that must be filled, and we can tell it because we are beginning to run on empty.

No one knows those things unless they have a rule, formal or informal, and unless they stop to look at it from time to time and make note of what is to be found there.

Only by taking our life apart from time to time and examining it carefully, and then putting it back together thoughtfully and prayerfully, only then can we have some measure of confidence that we are living the life that we are meant to lead.

Robert Benson, The Body Broken