Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rest and Relaxation!

Rest and Relaxation! Those words bring us a sigh of relief or an aching desire for that which we yearn. Many of us long for quiet time without the invasive noise that marks the world around us. But sometimes it is even more difficult to quiet the inner noise and clamor that goes on in our minds.

Last year the team at the Spirituality Center decided to offer one day a month that we call R & R Day. This no-fee day is a gift from the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict to the people of Central Minnesota. Our hope was that it could be a relaxing day in which to experience God’s presence in one’s life. Any time between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., you can find a quiet and peaceful place. Optional opportunities include a short presentation at 10:30 a.m. and group lectio divina at 3 p.m. You may walk the grounds of the campus and woods, walk the labyrinth path, read, or just sit and stare! A visit with a spiritual companion from the Center is available.

On July 9th, the number of people who came exceeded all our expectations. Picture 21 people gathered in one place spending a day in quiet reflection. No TV, no phones ringing, no computers, just silence, bird song and heartbeats. Imagine seeing women and men sitting in a quiet space reading, or outside writing in a journal, walking with no real purpose other than the slowing down of one’s life. Imagine the thoughts, prayers, insights, hopes and dreams being played out in the silence. There was a great sense of peace and at the same time an awareness of profound inner activity.

It seems to me that this is one of the truest ministries of our monastery: to offer this place and space to our sisters and brothers in the world around us. One of the significant spiritual practices of monastic life has always been what is called lectio divina, “holy reading.” There are three books that have been read for centuries in monasteries all over the world: the book of nature, the book of Scripture, and the book of one’s own experience. Each of these books can slowly lead us to the revelation of God’s marvelous presence in our lives. But one needs space and solitude to plumb the depth of these books. We hope Saint Benedict’s Monastery provides you with that space and solitude and we look forward to seeing you at the next R & R.

R & R days are scheduled for Friday, October 1 and Monday, November 8, 2010. Click here to learn more about the Spirituality Center and subscribe to our e-newsletter alerting you to upcoming events.

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