It has been a very loooooong month for me. As Lent ended I got bumped off course when I agreed to give a faculty in-service program. It was a last minute invitation that I accepted and the amount of preparation through me over the top, so to speak. Then I gave a student retreat at a local university. Then I was gone for ten days to a conference that I helped direct so it was a mountain of work.
The point I would like to share is that the reality of life is that we get unbalanced. It takes time to return to return to ‘normal’ even in monastic life. The good thing is that the monastic rhythm is what can bring us back to that normal (this photo shows normal for us: daily communal prayer). It is a sustaining rhythm that brings focus to the center of life especially after getting off beat!!
The faculty in-service I did was something that went very well. The highlight was talking about the foundation of the Rule of Benedict and how it can apply to teaching. The foundation of our lives is hospitality (welcoming each person as Christ) and obedience (listening to one another…the ‘We’ not just “Me’ focus). Stability is the result of living monastic life. These fundamental Benedictine values can be applied to so many life situations. The teachers found it very relevant to creating community in their school among students as well as faculty and parents. It was fun to apply the Rule to teaching and creating a stronger school community.
At the conference I was inspired by a presentation that took the Gospel passages in the Rule and interpreted how Benedict use them. We also discussed how monastic life can be a hopeful, prophetic and awakening presence in the Church and world today.
As I return to the swing of life at the Monastery, we are looking forward to welcoming an inquirer for a 5-day visit. She visited the Monastery for a weekend a few weeks ago, but this longer visit will allow her to enjoy a richer experience not only of the monastery and our lifestyle, but also of our Sisters. We will be discussing the book, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. In this book, Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, provides rich reflections on Benedictine life. I recommend this book for women new to learning about Benedictine life…as Sr. Joan presents insight on so many relevant areas of our life.
Anyone interested in coming for a visit…well, you are always welcome! Just let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org