Monastic Wisdom

My Heart is Fixed – On Stability

2015-12-15T13:35:18-04:00December 15th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

This post is an excerpt from my book St Benedict and St Therese--The Little Rule and the Little Way The monk’s vow of stability is intimately linked with his vow of obedience. When the monk submits to his superior he fulfils his vow of obedience. When he submits to his particular environment and set of circumstances he [...]

On Solitude and Loneliness

2015-12-05T09:10:52-04:00December 5th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

Solitude is not loneliness and loneliness is not simply being alone. Loneliness is a condition of the heart, not the circumstances of life. When one is lonely there is a lack of knowing love in the depth of the human heart. Loneliness is a symptom of the yawning absence at the foundation level of each human [...]

On the Necessity of Reading

2015-12-02T20:04:59-04:00December 2nd, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , , |

One of the gifts of the Benedictine tradition is the form of prayer called Lectio Divina  or Holy Reading. In a world where speed reading is expected, skimming is required and glancing through summaries is de rigueur the monastic tradition is a contradiction. Lectio diving requires us to slow down and read the text meditatively. There is a technique. The first [...]

Benedict’s Ninth Through Twelfth Steps of Humility

2015-12-02T12:15:57-04:00December 2nd, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

Here is the final segment of my comments on St Benedict's twelve steps of humility. The other segments can be located under the tags "Benedictine Way" and "Rule of St Benedict" The ninth degree of humility is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence, not speaking until he is questioned. It's a good thing [...]

St Benedict on Humility – Stages Five through Eight

2015-11-24T19:36:01-04:00November 24th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

Last week I posted the full chapter from Benedict's Rule on Humility, then commented at the end of the week on the first four stages. Here are some thoughts on stages five through eight. The fifth degree of humility is that he hide from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts that enter his heart or [...]

St Benedict on Silence

2015-11-18T13:46:38-04:00November 18th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

Benedict instructs his monks about silence after worship: When the work of God is finished all should leave the church in deep silence and show reverence for God. Our own worship should be punctuated with silence and stillness. Altar servers are instructed to enter the procession in a slow and stately manner. A certain solemnity is [...]


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