Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I am on retreat at St. John's Abbey, before heading tomorrow to a writing workshop at the Collegeville Institute, which is just across the street from the abbey.

Listen is the first word of the rule of St. Benedict:

Obsculta, o fili, præcepta magistri, et inclina aurem cordis tui ...

Listen, my son, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart.

I'm listening, deeply. Chanting the Liturgy of the Hours is like drinking water, drawn up from a deep well.  The silences between the phrases are like Abba Moses' cell.  I sit in them, and they teach me everything.


  1. Blessings on your retreat and writers' workshop :-)

  2. What Claire said! Also I was delighted to learn in grad school that inclusive language is far from a modern theological and spiritual gift--there is more than one medieval adaptation if the Rule for women's community's which begin "Audi, filia/Listen, O daughter!"

  3. In the Quad, in room 264 I think (but in any case the large room on the second floor), there is a huge calligraphic painting of the prologue of the Rule. You should see it, if you haven't. Its white space, too, holds silences.

  4. I wish I was there…. maybe next year