Blogging about life at a Benedictine monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"In the Silence rests my freedom"
A few weeks ago I was traveling from St. Cloud to the MSP airport via Executive Express. Conversation among strangers was polite and to varying degrees self-revealing. The 90 minutes afforded some to be lost in the rural landscape that created space to simply be. When we arrived at the airport, the driver announced the progression of stops that would have us retrieving our luggage and making our way to our particular airline. There were polite good-byes among us as the van was nearing its stop. I happened to overhear a relatively young man and an elder gentleman say they would like to reconnect. The elder gentleman asked the younger for his cell phone number. The response given surprised the elder; I don’t have a cell phone. The elder named all sorts of reasons as to why he traveled with a cell phone--barely hiding his disbelief. The younger man simply responded that he needed to live with boundaries in his life. He went on to explain that he had an office phone, a home phone and access to e-mail and for him this was more than adequate for those who might wish to connect with him.
This brief exchange has stayed with me, lingering in my spirit as if desiring to awaken a teaching, a truth about life. I found myself resonating with the desire to hold boundaries. I have asked myself why this is so important to me. What is my underlying desire? Looking for an answer, I continue to engage in the exploration that draws me to greater insight. These are a few of my musings. Boundaries create space to be, to hear, to see, to stand in the present moment. In this milieu there grows mindfulness, an awakening of senses, which opens my heart to a deep and abiding gratitude. Boundaries help me to claim what I value, what I most desire to hold close to my heart. Boundaries have a way of claiming me.
Benedict’s wisdom, all things in moderation, helps me to avoid absolutes or the polarization of goods. It also helps me to ask the tough questions of myself. How much is enough? What gods have claim on my attention? Can I risk being “unplugged” from social networking for thirty minutes, an hour, or a day, in order to give myself freely and openly to my community?
In the Silence rests my freedom and my guidance… Psalm 62, translation Nan C. Merrill
This blog is maintained by a group of Sisters at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. We try to post weekly and often succeed at that.
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