The decorations are up, the Advent breviary is in use, I’ve descended into the psychic darkness that inevitably descends this time of year. While at the same time I’m filled with a sense of ragged, inexplicable joy.
I’ve also been reviewing, culling, and reformatting my posts, one by one, from the last ten years–so that is a task. I look forward to the updated website/blog being up in early 2020.
I’ve also been exploring the possibility of becoming a Benedictine oblate at St. Andrew’s Abbey in the high desert outside LA.
Among the myriad other gifts (and responsibilities and obligations) such a commitment would engender is the fact that oblates can be buried in the abbey cemetery. This is a prospect that appeals to me deeply.
All around we hear the call to arms, to hatred, to violent action.
This morning I read the following in Esther de Waal’s Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict:
“St Benedict will not allow us to evade change, and he has no illusions about what is involved in facing up to growth. Conversatio is simply commitment to facing up to the demands of growth and change. One of the specific ways in which the Rule helps with this comes in Chapter 4, “The Tools for Good Works.’ There are seventy-three of them, most of them short, sharp injunctions fired at us one after another, without even an opening paragraph. At the twenty-second St Benedict is saying, ‘You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge. Rid your heart of all deceit. Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.’ “