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Monastic Futures - Contemporary Culture II


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Second of two presentations for the Benedictine Renewal Program in Crookston, Minnesota. Focus on the application of St. Benedict's ancient Rule to 21st century realities.

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Monastic Futures - Contemporary Culture II

  1. 1. Culture Shift:The Shape of Monastic Life in the Future<br />Sister Edith Bogue<br />Benedictine Renewal Program<br />Mount St. Benedict Monastery<br />Crookston, Minnesota<br />16 June 2011<br />
  2. 2. Given the bleak picture of the future, can we be confident that monastic life has a future?<br />
  3. 3. Yes.<br />The archetype of a monastic – an ascetic who seeks beyond the boundaries of society – is ever present in society.<br />Religions produce a group of athletes or specialists or they die out. <br />The evolutionary psychologists show us, more and more, that our brains are hardwired for contemplation.<br />
  4. 4. It will certainly be different and diverse<br />Membership may be time-limited, not permanent.<br />Residential monastic communities may include both men and women and families<br />There are already web-sites that call themselves a “virtual monastery”<br />The focus is unlikely to be institutional (hospitals, schools)<br />Life-long monastics are likely to be fewer in number,but important for the mentoring of others.<br />
  5. 5. Formed by our place & our history<br />
  6. 6. Transition & change is hard<br />
  7. 7. Three elements that will be focal for monastic life in the future<br />Meeting Christ in other people<br />Living outside the ways of the world<br />Building bridges across chasms asa path to peace.<br />
  8. 8. Meeting Christ<br />8<br />
  9. 9. "Try to be the first to show respect to the other"… "as if they were Christ in person" <br />
  10. 10. The spirit and culture of the age will come into the monastery.Patterns are wired in our brains early in life.It is present all around.It seems invisible.<br />
  11. 11. Meeting Christ in the sick and elderly — and in all who are vulnerable<br />
  12. 12. Preserving & transmitting the skills of commitment, stability, fidelity.<br />
  13. 13. Ponder for a moment:What, in our current way of life, will provide a foundation? A challenge?How can we nurture this new life?<br />
  14. 14. (Break)<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Living outside the “Ways of the world”<br />15<br />
  16. 16. "Your way of acting should be different from the world's way." <br />
  17. 17. A focus on praxis, on living the monastic way of life, on practices that can be learned, taught, and passed on.<br />
  18. 18. Enclosure: A form of simplicity — guard of the heart — limits the accumulation of stuff and freneticactivity and connection<br />
  19. 19. Ponder for a moment:What, in our current life, can we nurture? What should we leave behind?What different models of monastic life can we imagine?<br />
  20. 20. Building Bridges of Peace<br />20<br />
  21. 21. "That nobody may be disturbed or grieved in the house of God" <br />
  22. 22. Building bridges<br />
  23. 23. Listening, learning, and conversing with the diversity of monastic communities.<br />
  24. 24. The common goodHow can we cultivate it?<br />
  25. 25. "Convinced that the good which is in them … must be from the Lord"<br />
  26. 26. "What can be sweeter to us, dear ones, than this voice of the Lord inviting us?"<br />
  27. 27. "Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" <br />
  28. 28. "Prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together into everlasting life"<br />
  29. 29. Culture Shift:The Shape of Monastic Life in the Future<br />Sister Edith Bogue<br />Benedictine Renewal Program<br />Mount St. Benedict Monastery<br />Crookston, Minnesota<br />16 June 2011<br />