In chapter 3 of The Psalms for Today, Beth Tanner phrases the first psalm as describing “a way of life or ‘rule of life.’” (28) This “orientation, or philosophy of life lived in God’s kingdom,” begins “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked” (NRSV), or as she translates it, “Happy is the one who does not walk among the counsel of the wicked ones.” (24)
One of the best-known rules, or rhythms, of life is the Rule of Benedict. Dating back to the sixth century, it has endured as a flexible guide for those who would claim the designation “blessed,” or “happy.”
What does it mean to be blessed? What does it mean to be happy?