Category Archives: Discernment

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WEBINAR: Kindling the Fires of Ministry

Divine Spark: Kindling the Fires of Ministry WEBINAR with Dr. Barbara Sutton The ebb and flow of ministerial life can cause even the most resilient people to flicker. We may find ourselves growing dimmer, exhibiting signs of burnout. We may wonder whether it is worth it, turning to the language of cynicism or defeat. At…
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Stability: The Benedictine Value of Locatedness

Stability The Benedictine Value of Locatedness An old saying touts, “Location, location, location” as the key to property value. Benedictine spirituality also values location, but not the way your real estate broker might. A prominent Benedictine principle is stability, or staying put within a particular community rather than continually traveling on to somewhere else. For…
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Cooling Anger and Warming Sadness

Cooling Anger and Warming Sadness When we are intensely angry it becomes hard to see straight. Conversely, the low drag of sadness can leave us with too little energy to pay much attention. So, for the sake of those in the thick of these emotions, we’ll get straight to the point. Recently a circle of people…
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Calling It To Mind: A Great Conversation On Virtue

Calling It To Mind A Great Conversation On Virtue Most of us take virtue for granted since its absence conjures images of people who are venal, self-absorbed, and indifferent to the common good.  In a recent session of the Great Conversations series, we discovered that a full-face look at virtue helps us to remember the…
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The Benedictine Commitment to Learning

We need sacred spaces because they serve as custodians for the treasures found within our faith traditions. This requires the service of faithful custodians in every parish, retreat center, and socially conscious organization precisely because there is so much to learn and discover. Benedict seemed to understand that there is an abundance of wisdom to be harvested as he instructed his followers to keep reading—and praying what they read—their whole lives long.
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My Day with the Sacred Fire

My Day with the Sacred Fire Forever ago, it seems, I financed my way through seminary with a long stint as a custodian at a religious college. I remember one large meeting where I was pushing my trash cart outside the venue while sensing the vibrancy and boisterous energy inside. It was a tough moment—heartbreaking,…
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Faithfulness: The Difference Spiritual Direction Can Make

Peter Watkins began to learn faithfulness through his first experience with a spiritual director thirty years ago. Today he is himself a spiritual director and tells the story of the difference those conversations made in his life. Faithfulness The Difference Spiritual Direction Can Make I had never heard of spiritual direction until I joined the…
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Spiritual Direction: What Are You Talking About?

What is Spiritual Direction Anyway? At its core, spiritual direction is “companionship in your ever-deepening relationship with God.” You have likely had other similar companions (pastors, mentors, soul friends). These kinds of relationships, whether formal or informal, are essential to our lives. Personally, what I look for in a spiritual is someone who is trustworthy and intentional. She or he does not have to be a pastor or professional, but I do want a companion who is trained to approach spiritual direction in a way that helps me pay better attention to how the Spirit is working in my life.
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Practicing Sustained Lectio Divina

This reflection about sustained lectio divina is excerpted from Dr. Kathleen Cahalan's keynote lecture at the Benedictine Center on 27 Oct 2017, "Today This Scripture Is Fulfilled in Your Hearing." Click here for the full transcript, including a demonstration of lectio using the Gospel of Luke. Dr. Cahalan is professor of practical theology at Saint…
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My Life with Psalm 139

I had the great blessing of attending both the Schools of Discernment and Lectio Divina at the Benedictine Center. I entered into each School not sure of what I might experience, but open to divine guidance. Both times the text that seemed to choose me was Psalm 139:1-16. As I engaged the psalm then and…
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