When I turned 30, I decided that I wanted to complete a triathlon. One problem: I did not know how to swim. I wasn’t scared of the water and I could stay afloat, but the most fruitful results of my childhood swim lessons were a goofy-looking breast stroke that didn’t involve putting my head under the water and a “little bird, big bird, fly.” The latter was basically laying on my back, flapping my arms, and propelling myself (slowly) through the water. These were not the ways of a triathlete.
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.
Benedictine spirituality offers an important voice in our world today, a voice which informs our praying, living and discerning. It is one among many schools that speak to contemporary hearts, yet it is particularly unique in its lasting impact on Western Christianity.