NEW Benedictine CARE Wellness Program Launching in September!
Written by Teri Rose, OBlSB
The pastor walks over to the elder and asks: “Why is it our place to talk about wellness, can’t we leave that to the doctors?” The elder replied: “Because care for the Temple itself must include those that know where to point to receive true healing and know how to walk alongside without interfering.”
The Benedictine Center was founded out of the need to provide companions that know how to “walk alongside without interfering” to individuals seeking to deepen and nurture their relationship with God. The Center has also been guided by the stability of the Rule of St. Benedict that stresses it is not the Rule itself that one should look to but rather to that which it points. It is this foundation that made the Benedictine Center and St. Paul’s Monastery my perfect collaborators to introduce the new Benedictine CARE Wellness Program.
Benedictine CARE is a unique new program that integrates Benedictine values and contemplative practices into my existing CARE Weight Loss and Lifestyle Program. I have been waiting nearly 10 years to move CARE from a clinic setting to a spiritual center- in my heart at least, even if my mind wasn’t there yet. But as is true for all of us, both CARE and myself needed initial formation before being ready. It has been a practice of patience being on God’s time and not mine, to be sure. So why do I think there is a need to integrate Benedictine Spirituality into a preventative healthcare service like CARE?
The Integration of Benedictine Spirituality in Healthcare
The notion of integrating the Benedictine Tradition into healthcare isn’t new. Benedictines have founded long-term care facilities, hospitals, and primary care clinics. Within these systems, the practitioners- doctors, nurses, and technicians- are introduced to Benedictine values and these values do guide decisions made regarding patient care. But the most important person that could benefit from these values is left out- the patient, the “practicer”, the one that will need to practice making new choices every day, multiple times a day, to steward their health. They are left out of learning how to apply Benedictine values to daily life. They are left without a tutorial on how or with whom to do this- how to take daily steps on the arduous trail of making lifestyle change.
Even those of us closer to the Benedictine Tradition typically only discuss how we apply Benedictine values externally. How we practice stability within our volunteer efforts, how we show stewardship for our environment, and how we serve in community. As needed as these conversations are, what might happen if we come together to talk about how we apply them inwardly, too, to the very care of the Temple of God?
- How Stability of heart increases our ability to stand in the seemingly uncomfortable void change creates?
- How the responsibility of Stewardship also applies to our physical bodies and minds?
- And how coming together in Community to practice this together is proven to help facilitate long term change?
The body is one of the greatest gifts given and created by the Beloved. The intelligence of a single cell is beyond human understanding. We are learning about this intelligence, to be sure, but it is doubtful we will ever know everything. The mystery is just too great. It is a mystery that deserves awe for its innate selflessness. Each cell is constantly scanning and communicating to other cells about how to best make you comfortable, to protect you, and to help you. Your body is never working against you. Ever. And this intelligence is not just working for you… it is you!
But, unfortunately, old patterns, choices we no longer want to make, over indulgences, and a (very) loud culture all amplify internal static that makes it almost impossible to hear, to listen, to our embodied true selves anymore. We can go through the motions, we can “be good” for a while, we can white knuckle our way through… until we can’t any longer. We pray for help as we cry from the weight of it all. And then, we stop trying (at least for now).
Getting Ready to Try Again
As our faith affirms, we are always extended new invitations and are graced with the strength to try again. And this time you can practice within a community, tethered to Benedictine values, pointed toward the Beloved, and companioned with individuals that “know how to walk alongside without interfering”.
Click below to read more about the program format, when and where we meet, and more on what to expect. You can also email me directly with additional questions and comments you have. I’m really looking forward to getting started with the first groups in September.
Until then, peace and health to you!
- Teri Rose, OblSB
Please contact Teri Rose with any questions or comments at email@example.com.