What do surfing and Benedictine spirituality have in common?

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 0 Comments

In a recent class with Sister Paz Vital and Novice Denise West, we discussed the Benedictine promise of stability. Sometimes stability is thought of as staying in the same place with the same people for the rest of your life. Stability has that aspect to it, but there is more. Michael Casey, Cistercian monk from Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia, uses the image of a surf boarder to describe the dynamic character of Benedictine stability. A surfer needs both a strong center and an ability to adjust her weight and position of her feet on the board in order to maintain …

Learning from the forest

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 2 Comments

I recently listened to a TED talk by Suzanne Simard entitled, “How Trees Talk to Each Other.” Suzanne is a forest ecologist in British Columbia, Canada. Her research over the past 30 years has shown that forests are not just a collection of individual trees. Rather the trees in a forest are connected and communicate with each other through a vast, complex underground network of fungal highways called a mycorrhizal network. Through these networks trees transmit carbon and water, as well as defense signals when a tree is injured by disease or insects. Within this communication network there are hub …

brightly lit, snow-covered tree branches casting shadows on the snow

Home for the Holidays

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community 0 Comments

My first semester at St John’s School of Theology ended with a whimper. Although I was officially back at the monastery for winter break, I had a final paper and an exam yet to submit online. It was confusing: my body was home, but my head was still at school. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, with two hours to my deadline, I finally pressed the send button and breathed a sigh of relief. It was done; all of my assignments were in. Now I can relax, I thought. The semester had been long and challenging in unexpected ways. It …