Monastic Spirituality for the Christian in the World

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Monastic Spirituality for the Christian in the World

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since anything put christ right at the center for that i've had in first place were laughing because this is the third time we take this dude
christ is that the sweater and add lord as king as father of four that christ is if the center as loving friend for a red as spouse for hildegarde and gertrude and burger than a whole range of also what women mistakes
as great high priest with the whole clooney actually formed their great the turkey cull emphasis and then simply as suffering servant for a matthew guilty or as brother on the way with thomas merton but all these are different experiential lived ways of experiencing this
the primacy of christ in the monastic by christ is to be preferred above all and then bennett it goes on to say i'm nothing is to be preferred to liturgy so what is it is that the one or the other if you wanted to be schizophrenia for well
distance of synonymous way certainly a subordinate that way but as synonymous way of expression the same mystery for st benedict because our liturgy is simply and entering into the great celestial one liturgy of the great high priest interceding in the
the spirit through the spirit to the father and mother the first great person source of in fulfillment of all creation so our liturgy enters into all that it is the opus dei to work of god in the sense of the work that god enables ian us to christ
as well as we work that we achieved for god glorifying god subjective as well as the objective as well as the edge of title be godly juveniles to work
so we should have that sense of the significant for this prayer for is also very much in domestic form of prayer it's not a great temple prayer but if the simpler domestic familial synagogue form of prayer that proceed
aged cheeses from the apostles and then it's taken up a coup wrong is there specific activity as quite there yet as community when it comes down to us the eucharist which was in the ancient monastic experience a celebrated once a week pump in the lobby image
biography it's a great diamond at the center of the rim and the divine office with the golden setting them toward time so they're very much related as one liturgical reality but if they're rough distinct character the goal is to hello our time to think
to fight a whole day and the whole week and thus the seven times the day which the bunk shop gather to glorify god breaking up next you're breaking up worship and to whatever else focus central culminating activity of the money
and this challenge for us years so if you stay in what sense does it hold the privacy what is its relation to christ for us
ah because it is primarily christ's work i think that can teach us a particular attitude and fate of soul and mind when we enter into liturgy on the one and we can be calm we don't have to tend to so it doesn't all depend on us it is
and performance there's a danger of getting into that mindset that concern sometimes see in the sacristy people nervously bustling around there are about to go out there are about to have their moment of the stage almost they wanted to go well well of we can build allowed because all we're doing is
if that moment again entering into the perennial eternal are action of christ on the other hand because it is so it is the reverence of christ we certainly want of our own focus and mindfulness and also reverence to be there
so it's a kind of a calm focus that is spiritual theology evokes i think
this is expressed in that wonderful chapter on the matter saying the divine office
we believe that the divine presence is everywhere but the eyes with the lord are looking on the good and evil in every place but we should be this especially without any doubt knew we are assisting at the work of god to this primacy it's always the case wherever your so this extension
this rendering of all things sacred but there's a hierarchy here too bad and as be mindful always at the prophet's words sing praises wisely and the site of angels i will sing praises to god let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves in the sight of the godhood and
and of angels so the sense of presence of being up with the sign of god and then he offers a little rule of thumb which an interesting sobriety and simplicity is charming but it is extremely demanding
let us take part in the solomon it's such a way that our mind maybe uniformity in our boys who just that consistency and coherence ah mister monk seal bring to mind into the heart and this in motorcycle prayer it comes out
in the boys now distraction search as a innovation cup name of the game but if there's that fundamental intention to worship with christ in the spirit of to god yet
gently come back bring our mind back to this fundamental direction that you're there are various ways you can look at the specific words of the song could go into the christological leading the new really i can get rather complicated but every now and riches of arrives and again but particularly keen
a tension that cleaving to of christ uniting our voice with christ
ah show him the summing up a bit of the monk say that
the liturgy is kind of the great sacrament of the monastic life of such before st benedict the word opus dei refer to the whole monastic observance everything from our backs you to manual work to bed and expensify into to literature but
but in a tent it certainly is of prognostic said the
that gives us a reading of how the whole thing is going a diagnostic that
traffic and yet it is the thermometer he tells us how the whole thing is going if the literature use kind of but rushed and nervous and distracted the probably are like general will be generally would be thus if it's called and interior and i'm very content
operative that should be up a good sign for the whole of our life
so we want to you want to focus their what about personal interior prayer to spend it and put so much emphasis on the of potential that the other simply you supposed to fade away or indeed be nonexistent is that top bunk of st john said he would pray
yea if you weren't praying in the liturgy solemnly of a dreadful heresy that shut up time with his line people hoped a phrase synthetic prayer therefore should be short and pure chemists be interpreted as in contradiction to the whole journey of the desert fathers and mothers
to pray without ceasing to pray always in every place and this rooted simply in the injunction of st paul pray without ceasing and then there's that not the parable in book jesus taught them a parable that they should pray without ceasing
ah he's been like you know how to that just keep a sure to pure and then i've just put all your marbles in the liturgy basket to said what he said well a careful reading of the textures no cash is the great mom shift fit it all culminates in continual prayer
but the we characterize with his continual prayer is prayers that are short and pure that he if he used the very same adjectives the benedict
afterwards picks up benedict is just echoing case shouldn't carry him on not but you should rarely pray accepted the mechanical action but rather when you pray they should be brief prayers aspirations like arrows that dart up to him and and they should come out of the purity of heart
so benedick isn't contradicting cation but continuing cases of in a and also very much stress is certainly that are cheap and so we see him the up instruments and good works number fifty six one of the instruments just apply oneself frequently to prayer
and adaptable to world a brilliant article on this this is an invitation to constant prayer by stupidity in the same line education even within the context of the lyric liturgy it seems that as benefit understood it after each song amongst we actually prostrate themselves inside
once and then move into a personal contemplative space
and baggage to frequent and it to be short you don't stay there for hours and to be pure and mp abbott gives the sign to get up and soak up it's not this and therefore not that but in the great of wisdom of benedict this and
therefore that this as the context for that
so christ at the center that lexi of the living word of god does liturgy that word prayed and both community that word experience in the flesh and blood of our sisters and brothers this is the other great dimension of the on
kristic center and the christian presence is community itself this is a tremendous value infinity who follows here the line of the communists but again without
going into a kind of an anti hermit thing but keeping the door open also to the solitary by and having real moments to interior solitude within the line with the monk
so community koinonia the central value in the new testament new testament scholars say that koinonia can sum up for instance the whole theology of
give the gospel and in acts
yeah it's interesting that in the book of acts this central up a copy which is very divisive the community the life of god of a guppy occurs not once and this raises some eyebrows what happens is that the after the synoptics of the commute community gets a
wait from a a living know up a great bukan exiting like him to points as know it's just that koinonia which occurs frequently an ex this is just the way acts translate or got the renders a copy communal
renders or gothic we live in here in christ as christ assures us with two or three are gathered together he reminded minutes to do ring the brown as a lovely essay about this whole emphasis on koinonia in the new testament there are very definite crew rob apples here
work of the koran community characterize to job as simply the koinonia and this is a strong hebrew term down your heart so this is specifically monastic and then when pokorny as the great father or a monastic
semitic living characterizes his qb and the he used the greek here both his own languages up he says who are we what are we doing here we are the holy koinonia
so monastic like years clean and yeah and that's when you think about i think that's what parish life is about the holy grail yeah that's what family life is about that's what friendship is so we've got all these different will now modalities of living for the cordelia and hopefully something like to walk and give
as a model out there that we can bounce against to see what how is our particular coin and media doing and then finally there's data into your position that inner queen of yeah that are sacred village within our all those components on speaking terms are the in harmony that's an ongoing
work so that up as with one voice and one heart of i can glorify god and not according to the inner battle in
schizophrenia conditions so what about the a community specifically at st benedict well it was drawn from all classes in many way she was a traditional is some ways he was a revolutionary he comes from an aristocratic roman family according to his wonderful
of biography by she greatly the great but he just drops all that behind it he insists in his turbulent period of the sixth century when when boundaries and borders were collapsing and these barbarians from the north of plunging into italy goes all kinds of races within heat
true a keen interest here whether one comments from an aristocratic roman family or from any of the tribes that the north weren't equal and the only way you set a precedent in the community you very much wants to order and that means that certain precedent if not according to how much money you break when you come in or what is your
on the family tree or anything like it when you arrived if you arrived two hours before that person even if that person comes as a younger brother of the emperor something you go first because the ideas the person most rooted in the community on has
the for experience of community takes precedent over the person who has left simply to show the other the way because the community is the living with the war the green out of private used to say the rule says that it is a written rule loving community life but there's the other living rule which is just the communities
experience a way of living the law of living the gospel so that's the only precedent not according to any other criteria of intelligence or a class or anything like of that
we were they being overweight women that this is something but fortunately with the passage of the centuries monasticism also got very quiet her
but in its origin it's a lady movement and benedict to the rule is very suspicious of priests many of historians you since he would never himself trees the sharks are not the object where traditional a sprint addicting
looked at his life of biter with ring or more stay archbishop or something that just he was hesitant about all of that
ah he searched for instance in shepherd sixty two on the priests of the monastery
but let the one who is ordained beware of shop exaltation or pride that did not presume to do anything except what is commanded by the abbot knowing that he is so much more subject to the discipline of the rule results yet wonderful dialect not just a subject to the
discipline of the arbitrary whim of the abbot but of the rule so there's this splendid dialectic there and geeky avenues placed under the rule nor shooting by reason of his priesthood forget your obedience and the discipline required by the war but they've ever more and more progress toward god should he
presumed to act otherwise and and be judged not as a priest but as a rebel of century thrown out you know confidence so thin films i think you could interesting challenge to have so many of our churches that are rediscovering the way dimension ninety nine percent of the churches late and up
but we tend to get so cleric lies in one way or another in our various churches and up to the nasty like revamped and rightly understood is one variation on vague spirituality
we have awarded one monk in our community was no may not go onto the priesthood and anything that smacks of that philippians clericalism ring bells should grab their guns will have an address was helping them because shall we can get show away from the original curious
some of the go and don't pitch the new testament
the basic model of the community what's happening here in later centuries you'll have all kinds of congregations and gatherings of christians you can get all kinds of models also before that it it for or for military bottle were basically a platoon of soldiers for
christ and the up the superior is the other superior officer and were there them somehow battle against satan and win victories for christ this kind of thing this is a model it's very emphatic and early on in call me as for instance if they're in a few passengers in the rule itself to take
up the arms of the christ of paul take such as military language of the shield and buckler in the sword shut up but up at very least just it's clear that it's not be dominant experience will bottle in the rule for in the benedictine experience
then there can be the athletic model of sometimes positive sometimes certainly the desert fathers and mothers are competing for the most aesthetically such a so we're kind of a a key for christ and the superior as the coach and where do we have to write her victory shop
that's another a powerful model and both of these models show enable us to choose whose putting their way to listen to catch up on clear criteria of discernment the jesuits of acquainted some jesuits those who very much are related to the military model and death
our i used to teach at berkeley and history christians for jottings jesuit would come in to talk about the nation spirituality in terms of a us marine the model shook off a few good men and heroes and dot if there's no women jesuits it's a very macho thing
and of them scary or so but a there's no suggestion that confederate
then don't contemporary command use the model of the efficient cooperation from and the superior to kind of a c o one sheep executive officer and were out there unless you're sure how for traffic maybe nationalised our profit shipping
hang up in the book got offering don't forget your christmas shopping
but there's that kind of thing but also there's no suggestion of this ability of what you do have very emphatically is the model of the family the model of up or down boy or that is we are the brethren in
christ christ is our brother or father or are older brother but we are brethren one or another or we are sisters went to another and this is just be fundamental model in the new testament for the christian assembly by dell boy
and it's extreme without and all kinds of implications and would take years to store but if it becomes less easy to to measure when we're succeeding or not it's usually not for the army or you winning your battles are not and but if this guy ran away in the midst of battle well
you put them in the break or something up or if it's the athletic i didn't win the medals for the team or if it's the up from and the tv of the young the business company of are we in fact getting a good income of is someone spending more than they're making etc will you
fire them but in the family what you do you don't fire of brother a younger son or daughter of you're just there and if there's really go to it is to mutually support each other in love for the growth and the matcher maturation of everyone so this
is the model of fun than addictive quatre here and i take it could be argued of new testament criteria and of it does challenge our bottle of what is the parish show about sometimes we can explicitly get into the one of alternative models are we growing of what does the by
much of the like in terms of are we have success or failure or even the family my god i kicked up he's bringing in c minuses kind of thing or she didn't bring that even yellow ribbon with the race or something of bake your time will not if you go to the very heart of
the monastic and i'm starting the family experience in this model be superior might be alba as clearly the rule according to some of renewal
i think that the come out with stress also the fraternal and the friendship role of the superior so it's a dialectical think during the too much emphasis on just the paternal can get into the paternalistic can get into all signs and also projection of wrath and terms of the authority problems it's
veteran it's incredible of
how much just anger can be put on a superior into monastic community and it's not personal
it's not personal and all it's just i still am working on my anger towards mommy and here he's around and he's told me to do things to a mom used to do so that can happen
ah i'll totally saudi
runaway quickly
jack was mentioned how every year direction moment to college when there's just a crisis and lots of anger and up we work through it and normally at the end we're still on speaking terms and christians and loving wanted but what is that what is it all about well when could
do a kind of a pop psychology thing that at a certain point we realized the to structure there is at least some kind of communal dynamic of obedience going on there is of tosh and i
it's not just i coming to do the weekend that i paid for and i'm getting a lot out of it or i'm not getting a lot out of it but my god there's some kind of of authority thing here and i haven't been listened to or i can trade it on or and suddenly lots of wrap that sometimes seems to
to accede a bit the precise dimensions of the of great suffering we've undergone to the great injustice we separate or something but if that oh my god i'm in a community that also has a shape to it it also has authority to it and up the combination of fear and anger is extremely
up of deepening and enhancing and but certainly fair in the community of a a monastic stable your moments of explosion of wrath and then when we get a middle distance there about the smallest of things that normally we would pass through with humor but sometimes can someone can
say oh i am coming out of a problem i had with my mom or my older brother or up of i mean uncle or a particularly ferocious teacher or something but there is bad but yeah it is the family model that certainly ambitious all kinds of dynamics of
enjoy love but it does get us into app activity that a coward would remind us and that's a good thing that means the for human and familial experience of christ's presence
and ultimately i think
well benedict wants that no one be upset or sad in the household of god lovely exploration and prayer of chapter thirty one the household of god there's a lovely book out for laity about the move simply called a household of god by a david perry
oh so back to the basic model and so the abbot doesn't just decide things arbitrarily he calls all the brethren to council and again there's this order according to entering into the community but then he turns are actually upside down for the possibilities of the holy spirit
the reason we have said that all should be called the council is that the lord often reduced to the younger what is best
so however you cut the by you want a certain order again benedict is a real tree on the big smiles but open to the surprises of the spirit so you it is an institutional community that infant producers down through the generations that isn't just there for this
charismatic woman but on the other hand it is very much a community wants to be open to the surprise nice spirits so there again it's about and
some scholars argue that him calling all the council and listening to everyone who have to cradle of western democracy
there's a marvelous delightful article out by the belgian professor of political history that he's a socialist and she's been an agnostic and he was interested in the medieval ways of elections convinced that they worked i don't drop was sinister and courage
to death row in kind of thought early forms appear his talk to and the things etc
how this is the or brunette bullet i was militant socialist raised to hate the church and i was interested in the way in which elections and monastic superiors inside the religious orders were carried out i was convinced or something hidden in the selection process of which to go back to kind of a catholic stalling
he says but i was astonished to learn from the documents are of the benedictines that the abbot's were democratically elected by the cashier that is by the entire community and that once selected had to ask the opinions of the monks for the most important decisions beginning with the youngest
a century before the magna carta if england considered mother of a european parliamentary system the general chapter of sito existed in some it was the monks would invented made the basis for the democratic spirit for me this was an incredible discovery it was entirely annexed
affected and brought about a total change in my dish of religious world i had wanted to uncover the dark secrets of the elections of habits and then to turn to those of the pope's man ended up discovering and percent national fisheries they applied democratic rule so it's interesting but what is your model for the
parish did your bottle for family and also get that matter within how do you handle that well certainly consult everyone and then this mutual love that wonderful chapter seventy two with kind of but some of this whole spirit and culminating way of
new year for the rule and i think for in its own way for the family for the parish for the diocese and put that inner monastery
and we can go another way of then it it talks about this bitter see younger i'm a gives you should not observing that law because you didn't treat me right because god knows he says no results would win ceo just as or if an evil single with bitterness which separates from god and wounds to hill
so there is a good seal which separates from biases and leads to god and to bite for the last june this year therefore the monk should practice with the most forbid love
darth they should anticipate one another in honor most patiently endure one another's infirmities whether a body or of character that the beautiful thing of if the guy's not carrying his way into business for he just firing or began showing up to the battle you just putting in the brink again
but here with great patience she endure infirmities with her body was carried to for lifetime cause that's what family's all about also he doesn't seem to be your brother because he shot customs stupid ideas about politics or he's short tempered or something or and shown with christian community
the world christian community
by in pain obedience one to another no one really avid following what he considers useful for himself but rather what benefits another
tender the charity of brother who had changed me fear god in ball
so even with had a fear of god that culminates in love their abbott with a sincere and humble charity preferred nothing whatever to christ and making bring us all together to life everlasting amen so there's a chapter on community combination crimes to then beach us as
as family as are older brother as our friend or spouse or into the depths of the kingdom
so i'm just a few words about work were rushing the be have to try to get it all on show case of but what it is actually is a sure you realize a few fundamentals of the benedictine like introduction to them so hopefully of these conference
zeus and these tapes are just an invitation to go on studying people can still spent a lifetime just starting the rural or purpose for mercury the bachelor or whatever work the ancient model of the monkeys for at the border a pray and work
everything in that act
that both and that's classically a monastic of get to spiritual ticket can be just to work i'm just the prayer are a modern obsession with workaholic and might have just the label but to have that balance
for benedict there were six or seven hours of work in in his time it was an agricultural time it wasn't an industrial a group and time so it was especially agricultural but he never insisted on just that and he had copiers and writing and the work of
fatality and jumped a range of work but what he did was revolutionize the way of considering work work not as shameful as a sign that you have the lower classes or teach slave but work as essential to the christian life and here again and for
recovery of talk with you have to work you shouldn't be allowed to eat kinda thing but this is going absolutely against the grain of the roman empire again we want to ponder in our own time where do we do with this obsessive you don't you're not worth anything
ambush you work nine ten hours a day so we might have to adjust the scale a different way today except where are we sure classes who were to work tend to have the problem how to cure time and there to really be engaged in work can
be a liberating thing
so pathetic work isn't so much a penitential thing to do satisfaction for my shins or because up some kind of masochistic thing but it has a functional scope of to render the community viable self sufficient so it doesn't have to depend on others it's not
in a parasitic and then it he never had the of mendicant approach of the franciscans where you need me or you need money for and you just take it on the street also in a spirit of grace humility and that also it's a very ancient form of monastic life but the madame
rustic is no you get up there you work and so you grow the potatoes that are on your table to eat and you prepare the cloth it up close you etc
so it's a different way that a primitive poems says on and it's a very apostolic but it opens up to a whole new testament theology of work at participating in the great shelter it work of god
but again without obsessions and benedict and shift in that chapter sixty eight don't work too hard too strenuously or but all things with moderation for the sake of the fainthearted
for the trappist come to us years ago young set it up at one of the traffic damage the whole thing is manual labor in an aesthetical kind of a penitential mode the king and with the do and say didn't know they're getting away from but i don't say was so worry
simple should punish ourselves we good way to punish yourself is much more to manual labor will they would go out before the break of dawn and work in the fields no breakfast and come out come back for lunch staggering and he said it was amazing that people were passing out there were so we can and in a way that it's exhilarating but
of the seems not
and i think you get the approval with some she knows today who are we know one woman way up in the banking world and after a long day she rushes home still with her pleasure and now she's got her facts so now the kind of sending her stuff home for her to continue to think about
to after work and for the weekend and she just feels as this
totalitarian of taking over a whole life by work well i'm absolutely not a of
all things with moderation
up and another great a motive for work used to have the means to contribute towards the needy their needs through hospitality for the poor gifts for the sick etc short vague theology of worked with can be booked at a very carefully
the very briefly she packed up to rush the work of it's a very basic component that would want much more time finally to get to the conclusion that doesn't close at all lot but up the fish is just a little room for beginners a wonderful phrase i think that has
benedict himself applies his principal of humility to just one and only work that we had his rule think this is an elementary school that think about going farther think beyond of going beyond this rule
so this is for beginners don't know how many of you know that lovely a book by suzuki roshi zen mind beginner's mind
but his insistence and once we get really educated and sophisticated into graduate school about spirituality hard thing about practice than will really in trouble we should always have that beginner's mind jesus as unless you are a little children
are you can't inherit the kingdom blasted with americans that same
spirit of wonder and at my and celebration and surrender so again some rules later on what to be shocked sufficient and spell it all out and a gift and when you do your ruler by i don't do it that way but right a little rule for beginners that's what are op
like room is that stuff would it all wants to do but then it opens to god knows what only god in the spirit in the freedom of the spirit
our own former general of canada to collide tsm miracle chapter on spiritual freedom with a rule and he says a give anything in the rule can be dispensed except the prologue and chapter seventy two that we just read about our preferred one another above
at them chapter seventy three for that we should be willing to die and that's currently dying for the freedom to children of god are dying for the right to observe an honor the ball and then go beyond the letter of the law which can kill to the spirit the law
hum so to conclude
we are all monks and some of us out there perhaps married with kids and that were placed or more monks than those who dress up and go through all the gestures we are all monks and there is that and monastic dimension with them and that unites us
to all the agents and to all the deepest aspirations of humanity along with that complimentary yearning for creative fun complexity and the rule was infinitive is a classic expression of this way that it empowers this dimension within us
in a particularly up balanced and wise and efficacious way it presupposes primarily metanoia that fundamental christian conversion and jesus creatures from will go with his repayment industry and that compunction fulfilled in law
in a cafe and when we walk in love as christ loved us
then the rule helps us sustain the whole person body mind and spirit asset bot will in a balanced life that alternates between moments of prayer and work and study and recreation and when were sustained by something like
the vows of obedience that is hearing listening and stability that is rootedness in christ and also encounter such a war that is in this journey in the freedom of spirit then the rural like our baptism leads us through christ's love in the
spirit into the depths of the godhead amen