Monday, April 28, 2003

Spirituality for today

I just listened to Laurence Freeman's session at the Trinity Insititute's National Conference being held today and tomorrow. This year's theme is "Shaping Holy Lives: Benedictine Spirituality in the Contemporary World."
St. Benedict’s Rule has been shaping holy lives for over 1500 years. One would hardly expect such an ancient spiritual practice to have much relevance today. Nevertheless, Benedictine spirituality seems uniquely suited for contemporary seekers. Why is that? Is it because our basic spiritual needs never really change? Is it because St. Benedict, a layman, designed his Rule (Regula) with regular people in mind? Is it because it’s all about “living the ordinary life extraordinarily well?” Is it because the issues that Benedict raises radically unmask the superficiality of contemporary culture? Is it because Benedict’s pre-modern mind uncannily hit upon postmodern themes like the paradoxical nature of truth, the hiddenness of reality, and the call to community? Or is it all of the above? What is the real shape of a holy life? And why does the Benedictine Rule speak that eternal language so well?
The transcripts aren't available online yet, but the sessions are being webcast. I dug my speakers out from the garage, hooked them up to my computer, and downloaded Media Player to listen to the audio of the session. Fr. Freeman is very perceptive and challenging.

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