Tuesday, January 5, 2010

May Her Soul Rest in Peace

We received word this week that Dr. V. Nelle Bellamy, former Archivist of the Episcopal Church, died a few days before Christmas at age 87. Nelle was an Adjunct Faculty member at The Seminary of the Southwest when we were there, and taught in the History and Theology curriculim, though much of what she taught was what we'd call "Spirituality" today.

One of the things Nelle did was introduce scores of clueless seminarians to The Rule of St. Benedict.  She was an Oblate of St. Mary's Abby, West Mallig, England, and lived her life in the spirit of the monastic rule.  We were blessed to have known her and been formed by her.  I think that we learned as much from her hospitality at table and the affection she showed her creatures as we did in class, which is the sign of a true spiritual guide and mentor.

In thanks for Nelle's witness, I offer this excerpt from Benedict's Rule, Chapter 73. 

"The reason we have written this rule is that, by observing it in monasteries, we can show that we have some degree of virtue and the beginnings of monastic life. . . .For observant and obedient monastics, all these are nohing less thatn tools for the cultivation of virtues; but as for us, they make us blush for shame at being so slothful, so unobservant, so negligent.  Are you hastening toward your heavenly home? Then with Christ's help, keep this little rule that we have written for beginners. After that, you can set out for the loftier summits of the teaching and virtues we mentioned above, and under God's protection you will reach them. AMEN."

May her soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

And Nelle, pray for us in our journey.

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