It is good to be back home in Kentucky! As many of you know, I have been away on Sabbatical since August 1st at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, which is in the heart of the state. Though Central Minnesota is beautiful, with its lakes, prairies and evergreen trees, there is certainly no place like home! Prior to leaving on Sabbatical, one of our parishioners sent me a nice greeting card letting me know that they would be praying for me while I was away. In particular, they wrote that they, “hoped that I would receive whatever it was that I was most needed during this time of Sabbath.” When I first read those words, I found them stirring, because I wasn’t really sure that I knew what it was that I most needed during this time. So what I did was adopt those words as a part of my prayer, asking God to let me leave with what it is that I most need. In a way, I believe, God did answer this prayer. The answer came through what I saw and experienced in the communal life of the Benedictine Monks, who set the pace for the entire campus of St. John’s University. Through their Benedictine ways of hospitality, prayer, Eucharist, work, study, eating together, celebrating, laughing, resting, and supporting one another in hardship, I saw a very human way of life.
As I return home, I now have a new prayer, and that prayer is this, that the benedictine way of life, which I have been living for the past three months, will take solid root in me. Moreover, that this way of life will not only take root in me, but that through practicing the Benedictine ways, it will grow and mature into a sustainable way of living. I think there may be something in this Benedictine way of life that could assist all of us in our day-to-day living. So maybe you would like to take a moment or two now and look back to the ways that monks live their day and ask which of those ways would help you to live your day with greater ease and provide a more purposeful way of living.
And if I haven’t told you lately … I love you all!
– Fr. Carl