Benedictine Prayer: Single-hearted Seeking of God

We come out of a stance of prayer. “The way I live is seeking God,” said one participant. We come to the monastery to seek God, that is our driving force, the filter through which we ask questions and make choices.

Many of us long for communal prayer and those not physically near their monastery are now finding ways to participate virtually. While not a perfect alternative, it does offer some level of connection.

In addition to communal prayer, many participants spoke of the importance of personal prayer practices including lectio divina and contemplative prayer. Study and the reading of texts that inspire and guide are also important, as is art and beauty.

We remember that we are a movement of Christians, not clerical or hierarchical, and we need to be clear about that and claim it. Benedictine spirituality is always about the presence of God in our time, and it is universal. It was good to experience in our gathering the number of Benedictine communities there are that live this spirituality every day. “I am starting to believe the key to sustainability is connection and stories,” noted one participant.

It would do us good to remember the Monastic Heart as a universal call. This is another version of the “archetype of the monk” or “contemplative consciousness” or “monk within” to develop in and outside of monasteries.

  1. Why do we believe what we do (what are our core values) and what do we need to sustain/develop our beliefs? We each need to wrestle with what we believe AND recognize that different generations will have different ways for sustaining and developing their beliefs.