REFLECTIONS FROM THE MONASTERY – Part 2
I recently was visiting friends in Germany and had the opportunity to stay at the Benedictine Neuburg Abbey in Ziegelhausen (near Heidelberg). While I was there, I had the opportunity for some quiet reflection on a number of topics, one which is presented below:
We had just finished “Mass with ‘Mid-Day Prayer'” at Neuburg Abbey near Heidelberg. I had the opportunity to be one of two con-celebrants during Mass. After Mass was concluded, the Abbot and I made our way to the center of the isle, turned and bowed towards the altar, turned and began to make our way back to the sacristy. After just three steps – THREE STEPS – the Abbot quietly said to me, “Slower.” So I had to suddenly “downshift,” and wait for the Abbot to catch up to me. He didn’t rush. In fact, as we walked along, I thought, “Even THAT slow?” YES, that slow.
In a previous article, I wrote about the frantic, hectic life we seem to be drawn into. If we are going to be intentional in our approach to Christ, our life needs to be modeled after a type of “Abbey” (See my article on family life and the idea of “The Abbey” in family life).
- Am I rushing along too fast?
- How do I know this?
- Who is my “Abbot” or “Abbess” who knows me and loves me enough (and whom I trust) to know when to say to me, “Slower?”
- How do I do that? How, and where, do I even start?
- Which of the 5 foundations of the “Vision of the Parish of St. Monica” (Pray – Read – Say – Give – Serve) can help me in the discernment of Christ’s voice in this case?