I'm excited about this week. It's time for the annual Oblate gathering at Saint Benedict's Abbey, my spiritual home. I came to Saint Benedict's fairly soon after my ordination. As a Presbyterian, I had to give up my membership in a congregation for membership in a Presbytery. Now Presbyteries are very nice things. But most of them are not a completely nurturing spiritual body.
I came to the abbey prepared to be a bit suspicious. I fell in love with the place, and more importantly the community, in about three hours. I quickly found myself dipping into the river of prayer that runs through monastic communities; a river that began many centuries ago and runs forward to the distant future.
I always feel like I am coming home when I arrive at St. Benedict's. There is a sense of peace that overwhelms me the instant my car door opens. But there is another reason why I love my community so much. The abbey's charism is the work of Christian unity. Our hope is that as Benedict predated our divisions, in Benedict's teaching of the way, we may once again be one. When we come together we find men and women who are Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Brazilian Catholics, Anglicans, and Greek Orthodox. Anyone who follows Jesus is welcome in the community. Anyone who is Baptized is welcome at the Table. And all our causes for division? Those are left at the door. That which unites us is more important than that which divides us.
Would you like to find out more? Please ask, or check out the Abbey's website: www.SBAbbey.com.