In the monastic world one can sometimes be sheltered from some of the concerns of “outside world”: the “fast life” for example. But for many of us the true living of reality never goes away. How could it? Like the rest of the world the monks have to be concerned about some external things like family, friends, keeping the apostolate alive if it is for God’s great glory, concern for one another, etc. The added feature to our life, as it is similar to all serious Christians is that we have see the about the seriousness of living the balance of prayer, study, work and holy leisure, the monastic way of life while keeping reality (God & humanity) in front of with the concern for the healthcare for the elderly, formation of the young, the maintenance of the buildings and grounds, diet and exercise, communication of the charism to our students, colleagues, benefactors and alumni, concern for the welfare of the poor and the ill, care for the environment and so on. As I progress in this life I am learning better the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, my own need for happiness, love, development of the intellect & affect, and other things that contribute to happy and truth-filled living.
Yesterday (Thursday) we met for our weekly meeting with the abbot to discuss Lectio Divina, a practice of reading/praying/contemplating the Scriptures from within the heart of the Church’s Liturgy. We are reading the book Praying the Bible: An Introduction to Lectio Divina by the late Archbishop Mariano Magrassi, OSB. It is a wonderful synthesis of all the elements that contribute to this experience of coming to know Christ through the ancient yet ever contemporary practice of holy reading of Scripture. I am ever mindful of Saint Jerome’s didctum: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” More on this topic later but I have to say, read this book!
House work is never done, ask my mother, or ask anyone who owns a home. We spent the last week painting various parts of the abbey and today we spent the morning preparing the guest rooms.
This afternoon we went to the US Olympic training facility for white river rafting. It was a very pleasant afternoon away from the monastery with confreres enjoying time in the fresh air and sun with a brief walk in nature before having a beer and kettle chips.
Tonight, we are watching the 1964 classic “Becket” with Sir John Gielgud, Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole; this is one my favorite movies of all time.
These are the things which make life in the abbey.