More Info on Oblate Day

Abbott Jerome Kodell sent these descriptions of his upcoming talks:

Benedict’s Strategy for Freedom: Freedom is a word with many meanings.  Because it is often associated with the absence of restrictions, represented by words like independence or license, it is the source of much confusion on the spiritual path. A great deal of the spiritual work of monasticism is the formation into interior or true freedom.  St. Benedict has provided a community context for this monastic strategy for personal freedom.

Murmuring: St. Benedict quotes Proverbs 8:21, “The tongue holds the key to life and death,” and provides severe discipline for murmuring.  This is not mainly because murmuring or grumbling upsets the peace of the community, but because it eats at the faith at the heart of the community, faith in the presence of a loving God.  The origin of the teaching of murmuring is in the biblical narrative of the journey in the wilderness; it is highlighted by Jesus in the confrontation about himself as the bread of life in John 6.  True spirituality helps us heal the interior wounds which result in murmuring.

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