Reflections on Silence

Chapter Talks

At our Visitation in May with Abbot Joseph we agreed to review our observance of silence, specifically the various places and times of silence.  Any renewal of the external practice of silence, asks at the same time that we look within, at the inner face of this essential monastic value.  The Word of God co
August 09, 2015 Read More

Chiastic Patterns and the Spiritual Life

Chapter Talks

I have always been stimulated by the different ‘maps’ of the spiritual journey that have been employed by patristic writers and especially by Bernard of Clairvaux in his sermons and other exhortative writings.   For example, in On Loving God, Bernard outlines four degrees of love: we love ourselves for our own sake, we love God for our own benefit, we love God for God
August 02, 2015 Read More

Transformational Grace

Chapter Talks
I was moved by the homily of Fr. Michael Kennedy, SJ, given Thursday morning.  He was speaking on the theme of ‘life’, that walking in the presence of God is walking in the presence of the living.  He said the God of love does not want victims: by being a victim we don’t dwell in the land of the living and God’s invitation through his Son is to unconditional forgiveness, unconditio
July 05, 2015 Read More

Listening to the Divine Voice

Chapter Talks

Last week I talked about ‘listening’ in the Rule of St. Benedict, specifically verse 1 of the Prologue, ‘listening with the ear of the heart’.  I talked about its multi-layered dimensions:  that ‘listening with the ear of the heart’ is not just a surface level of hearing.  It goes far deeper; it involves emptiness, surrender so that the hea

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June 09, 2015 Read More

Inclining the Ear of Your Heart

Chapter Talks

This morning I like to speak about ‘listening’, by turning to the commentary and reflections of Sr. Aquinata Bockmann on the first verse of the Prologue of the Rule.  Sr. Aquinata in her latest book, A Listening Community, emphasizes the importance of the Prologue because it points out the “basic attitudes” that are to be cultivated and developed for anyone
June 01, 2015 Read More
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