Peace and Joy in Community


Our annual summer silent retreat is underway, and we are going to share it with you.

You can make this retreat at home, if you wish, by reading each reflection and taking time to reflect, journal, sit in silence or walk quietly through a beautiful place.

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Living in community is the best counterweight against individualism in our society today.

And individualism – the Me-First attitude – exacts a high toll on those who pursue it relentlessly.

Community life teaches us to not live next to others but to live with others.

And if we are to become who we are called to be – loving, forgiving, close to God – we need others to get there.

Benedict knew how tough it would be for a bunch of monks to live together in peace … and yet peace is one of the hallmarks of Benedictine monasticism.

And of course, it’s necessary for successful co-existence.

So Benedict provides guidance in his Holy Rule that supports peace among the monks: he insists that all receive what they need, that individual differences are respected, that weaknesses are accepted. This is all made possible by our daily prayer.

Our prayer life weaves peace into the fabric of our days, promoting harmony (which is neither conformity nor uniformity).

Whether we are in chapel, in the dining room or in the community room, we have come together for the purpose of seeking God. We follow the Rule, which guides us ably. We make peace, find joy, and make our way to the Kingdom. Together.


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