Reflections on the Rule of St. Benedict
The first word is listen. Before Benedict says anything else, he asks us to listen. The prologue of Benedict's Rule begins, saying, "Listen carefully, my child,
to the master's instructions,and attend to them with the ear of your heart." Think of the teacher, waiting at the front of the class for everyone to quiet, . . .
Monks have a practice called kneeling out. If one of them makes a mistake during their daily prayers, he kneels at the finish until everyone has left. For example, if the one leading the singing makes the mistake of being on the wrong Psalm and throws off their gathered prayer, then when they are done he goes to the middle of the chapel . . .
In one of the monasteries I visited, after evening prayer one of the monks met the guests outside the chapel and mentioned to us that one of the guests was singing very loudly and throwing the monks' singing off. He was nice about it, but he asked us to do our best to listen and blend in with the monks' singing. Then he said, . . .
At the entrance area to Saddleback Church's worship center was a collection of art. I wasn't able to completely understand the story behind it, but from what I gathered they were an exhibit of different pieces depicting the lives/stories of street people. I don't normally think as megachurches as places of creative . . .
Back in July, I complained on Twitter that a bunch of teenagers had descended on my quiet Iona hotel. A friend replied, in jest, "Well, Iona is kinda a party place, right?" Religious pilgrimage destinations aren't typically known for their wild celebrations, but celebration was a common theme among places I visited in the . . .
Over these next few posts I'm hoping to share a few themes and practices I learned during this summer. These are my best attempts to distill all of my summer experiences and learnings into a few basic things to do.
Most think of the monastic world as remote and secluded, and in one way it is. What is surprising, though, is . . .
It's really over.
I've been back at work for a week now. The transition really wasn't a big deal. With good leadership at the church while I was away, there were no fires for me to put out in my return. I'm surprised too with how quickly I found my old rhythms again. The established routines for the workweek were right there waiting for me, . . .