Category Archives: community

Benedictine Spirituality for Today – Oblate Formation

The cross specially placed at the entrance to the chapel for the prayer vigil.

The Prioress, Sister Paula, taught the class “Benedictine Spirituality for Today.” Following the homework: prayer, community, and hospitality were the topics of the evening, yet, as with the tri-unity of God, the three were one.

Our evening prayer consisted of a vigil, as one of the sisters had gone to be with the Lord, after residing with us here for 97 years. That prayer time caused me to change my pre-written answer for how I had experienced prayer in the community. Continue reading Benedictine Spirituality for Today – Oblate Formation

Oblate Formation – Benedictine Spirituality

Our upcoming formation is titled “Benedictine Spirituality for Today.” The pre-course work for this class consists of:

  1. ruleforbeginners_coverReading an excerpt from The Rule of Benedict for Beginners: Spirituality for Daily Life by Wil Derkse. Derkse is a Benedictine oblate of St. Willibrord’s Abbey in Doetinchem, the Netherlands.
  2. Reflect upon how I have experienced my sponsor and the community life so far, in the areas of: prayer, community life, and hospitality.

Continue reading Oblate Formation – Benedictine Spirituality

Building Communities

Mission Santa Cruz
Mission Santa Cruz

When in California, my wife and I visited all the Spanish Missions along the El Camino Real. Some are still functioning churches, while others are only museums. The architecture of all the missions show their similar purposes: worship of God, refuge and provision for people, and a beacon to the traveler. People used to live, work, and worship, as well as visit, these missions. I wonder if churches can still do that today. Continue reading Building Communities

Communal and Individualistic Spirituality

Jason L. has another great post over at Ascending Mount Carmel, this time writing on his transition from a private to communal spirituality.

. . . I think that really the communal side of spirituality and the individualistic side of it are really just two aspects of one kind of spirituality.  Not everyone is called to be a living flame in the desert like St. Macarius or St. Anthony of Egypt; nor is everyone called to be a saint “in the world” like St. Frances Xavier Cabrini or St. Thomas More – but we are called to have a spiritual life, and this can include elements of both sides of the coin. Continue reading Communal and Individualistic Spirituality

Getting More Creative with Pastoral Support

Back in the 1990s, I was at a church that was ready to move on from renting space at the local high school to having its own faculty. However, property zoned for churches was limited and expensive. We also did not have a lot of money. What we did have was carpenters, sheet rockers, an HVAC specialist, an architect, and an electrician (some of whom were out of work), all attending our church. So between these trades, our little bit of capital, a lot of volunteer labor, and the Lord’s favor, we turning two warehouse units into a nice church facility. We could not simply pay our way, so we got creative, used our talents, and got our hands dirty. Continue reading Getting More Creative with Pastoral Support

Call to Worship: Caring Community

The first few verses of Galatians chapter six are interesting. With the span of a few verses we have admonitions to both “carry each other’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2) and for “each one [to] carry his own load” (Gal. 6:5). In the church, being responsible for one’s own walk and being responsible for others is not an either or scenario.

Continue reading Call to Worship: Caring Community

SoulShift #7: Me to We

Even though there are two chapters and an epilogue remaining, this will be my final post on SoulShift. The final chapters contain good practical aids for making a personal plan to achieve a soul shift and encouraging words to spur us on.

Chapter 7 begins with the most powerful illustration in the book, and I will not spoil it by re-posting it here; read the book. Continue reading SoulShift #7: Me to We