A Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery of men

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BREAD for Balance

Balance is a well known element of Benedictine spirituality. Here is a quick way to work on balance in your life. It uses the acronym B.R.E.A.D. as follows:


Balance means:

Removing excesses,

Ensuring the essentials,

Aiming at purity of heart,

Discerning what's in line with this aim.


Let's say more about each.


Balance means” -- This introduces the following as quick reminders of what balance entails.


Removing excesses” -- What do I have or do too much of? Working? Social media? Internet surfing? Gaming? Drinking? What should I get completely rid of? Gossip? Anger? Viewing inappropriate images?

Ensuring the essentials” -- What are essential things that I am neglecting? Daily prayer? Sleep? Confession? Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation? Exercise? Relationships? Spiritual reading? Downtime?


Aiming at purity of heart” -- Purity of heart leads to God, and entails Christian virtue, especially charity toward God and neighbor. Am I thinking about purity of heart, or charity, as my goal in all I do? Balance requires being focused on the right goal.


Discerning what's in line with this aim” -- Do what’s in line with purity of heart, or charity. Avoid what strays from that line, due to excess (e.g., being too hard on myself or others) or neglect (e.g., being lazy or indifferent). Staying on line with charity or purity of heart is the way of balance.


For a more detailed discussion of balance within the context of Benedictine spirituality, see here.