Tag Archives: Benedictine spirituality

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Life, A Continuous Advent

According to Saint Benedict, “The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent.” However, what Benedict presents is life as a continuous Advent. We can confidently stand ready and raise our heads because our redemption is at hand.
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Row Your Boat: A Nursery Rhyme and Metaphor for Life

From time to time, the Benedictine Center invites guest writers to reflect on their own spiritual journeys in ways that might be of encouragement to others. This reflection is written by Jim Dawson, an Oblate and friend of St. Paul’s Monastery. Having told this story many times in person, he now offers his version of…
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Reflections on Food as a Tangible Form of Love

I want to feed people the way she did because eating is, as our fall guest speaker Norman Wirzba writes, “a profoundly spiritual act.” What we eat and how we eat—both individually and collectively—reflect our gratitude, our stewardship, our generosity, our joy, and our love.
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Desire, Perseverance, Making Our Way: Reflections from the Monastic Retreat

Desire, Perseverance, Making Our Way Reflections from the Monastic Retreat On a Sunday evening in mid-June, the annual Community Retreat began at St. Paul’s Monastery.  The Sisters assembled in their usual places in the glowing Chapel, lit by the summer sky in the clerestory windows, joined by several Oblates, Benedictine Associates, and me.  The white…
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Sharper: Benedict’s Tools for Good Works

Sharper: Benedict's Tools for Good Works “Tools of the spiritual craft.” ~RB 4 How do you know when you need to return to your foundations? Last autumn, my Dad was at my shop, and we worked together for several weeks building a couple of saddles. For us, that means cutting, shaping, and decorating thick pieces…
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The Erector Set: Adapting to Others

The Erector Set “[The abbot must] accommodate and adapt himself to each one’s character and intelligence ….”         – RB1980 2.32 I’m no abbot, but I am trying to adapt myself to my son’s character. Toby’s a little like a cat—he’s stubborn and private, and I have to coax him to get him to come to…
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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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Retreat: Making Time to Remember Our Belovedness

Retreat Making Time to Remember Our Belovedness Life’s challenges have a way of growing up all around us. I sometimes picture myself standing in a field surrounded by weeds I cannot see over. I do my best to push them out of the way, look around them, and pretend like they are not there. But,…
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Sabbath: Well-being, Not Endless Work

While modern Christians do not often practice Sabbath as regularly as our Jewish brothers and sisters, we still need times when we set aside our task lists to remember that we are created in the image of a God who rested after amazing acts of creation. We need times to step outside of our regular work routines and remember that we are “human beings,” not just “human doings.” These times remind us we are beloved just as we are and that God’s love does not depend on us producing or creating or doing anything.
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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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